I am fairly well advanced with a classic scenery for Port Lyautey in Morocco. This was a US Navy air base which received a major upgrade in terms of a new runway in the early 1950s and was then (i.e. at least as late as August 1953) used as a scheduled MATS staging post between the Azores and Tripoli in Libya. However, it is not included in the CC MATS traffic package and so may not still have been in use in 1957. According to Wikipedia it had certainly been relinquished by MATS by 1964. The scenery would not have been possible without John Hewson's immensely valuable Flickr album on the airfield, but what I do not know is its code letters. I am using GMMV, which is spare, for the time being, but further information would be welcome.
Thank you, but FS is confused on this. If you enter GMMY into FS9 it takes you to a grass airfield in the centre of the town of Kenitra, not to the site of Port Lyautey. This is not a default FS airport, perhaps because it belongs to the Moroccan military, and so has had to be created from scratch.
Work in Progress
Last Edit: Mar 18, 2021 6:34:08 GMT -5 by connieguy
Found the following reference to Port Lyautey in a book about Blackbushe Airport UK [ EGLK ] - which was effectively London's second airport until Gatwick opened in 1960. The R5D was, I think, the USN version of the C-54 ? :
"Early every Thursday morning, an R5D would depart Port Lyautey for Naples, with stops at Torrejon AFB [Madrid], Blackbushe, and Evreux AFB [Paris]. There would be a crew change at Blackbushe. Every Monday morning, an R5D would depart Naples for Port Lyautey, with stops at Evreux, Blackbushe and Torrejon. There again would be a crew change at Blackbushe.....Sometimes Orly or Rhein-Main would be added as a substitute for Evreux. In 1959, Rota was added as a stop between Port Lyautey and Torrejon. The Blackbushe flights were sometimes referred to as 'Embassy Runs'. We usually carried military personnel, their dependents and an assortment of mail and cargo."
This would tend to confirm that Port Lyautey was still active until at least 1959 ?
Thank you very much indeed - it is always good to have information on these routes and airfields. The Moroccans required the US to leave Port Lyautey in the late 1970s, so it was an active base until then. I have now come across a reference to the 41st Transport Squadron flying to there and Tripoli in its early flights from Charleston, which probably means 1956, and that seems decent evidence that MATS was still using it at that date. Blackbushe was used by the US Navy (i.e. they had a facility there, and there are a number of photographs of their R7V-1s taken there) and would be a candidate for some classic scenery, but I think Port Lyautey more valuable, at least in terms of MATS operations. There is scenery for Wheelus in Libya but I am now also looking at the next link eastwards - Dhahran in Saudi Arabia. Northolt was another significant London airport in the 1950s, while I think always remaining an RAF station. Thanks again.
Post by Tom/CalClassic on Mar 20, 2021 11:05:01 GMT -5
Referring to Google Earth and Wikipedia, the FS GMMY is located in the wrong spot. Currently located southwest of the city, it should instead be north of it. And the Wiki states that GMMY and Port Lyautey are indeed the same airport, with the same lat and lon. The satellite image and the image of Port Lyautey in the Wiki confirm that - both are located in the bend of the river. The location of the shoreline and river inlet in the default FS9 are not accurate. Thus you have the choice of placing it in the correct spot in the FS landscape, or at the correct lat and lon.
I use Kenitra AB of MAIW Morocco scenery. This airport is exactly placed where it should be. Default FS9 creates some confusion, as its GMMY is in fact the old airfield called "Tourisme". Google Earth places an airport icon there.
Here is a screenshot of my airport and its location, which is correct for Port Lyautey. The landclass does seem to me pretty accurate, Tom, but is this what you are seeing? Some time ago I am fairly sure I installed Jim Keir's landclass file for the whole of Africa (on Flightsim) but I cannot now find it on my system. As Bernard says, FS9 simply got it wrong. I did not know of the MAIW Morocco package, but I do have Toni Agramont's. Ken
Last Edit: May 23, 2021 4:05:56 GMT -5 by connieguy
That was what I thought, and when I release the scenery it will clearly need to be mentioned. Wherever it is, it is somewhere on my system, and obviously I recommend it because it covers the entire continent.
Last Edit: Mar 20, 2021 15:32:41 GMT -5 by connieguy
Bernard, I am afraid you are right. It is Ultimate Terrain Europe. The Weir file makes no difference and FS9 default doesn't have any river at all. I also have jagged blocks as coastline, but that may be the result of installing Ultimate Terrain. I now understand why some of Toni Agramont's Kentira houses were in the river until I deleted the relevant bgl from his scenery.
I have made a little more progress with Port Lyautey as a result of browsing Marson's book on the Constellation. On 30 Oct 1954 a R7V-1 of the US Navy squadron VR-1 was lost over the Atlantic after leaving Patuxent River for the Azores and Port Lyautey. No trace of its 42 occupants or the aircraft was ever found. Marson (ii. 168) says that it was on a scheduled Fleet Logistics Wing flight. He also says (i. 348) that VR-1 operated 'quite regularly' in 1953-4 on the route Patuxent - Blackbushe - Naples - Port Lyautey. There is an echo here, of course, of Richard's post on Blackbushe, Naples and Port Lyautey earlier in this thread.
This 1963 film on MATS may be of interest to those who do not know it.
There have been considerable developments with this airport since Al Von Pingel joined the project. Much of what you see here is his work, not least in providing it with the aircraft which actually operated from it in the 1950s. These included French Avro Lancaster Mk VIIs of Flotille 23.
First the view looking towards the terminal.
And from behind it.
The Lancasters near their hangar at the bottom of Runway 03.
Port Lyautey is almost ready for release, but as a result of the mention of Blackbushe earlier in the thread I have also made a start on that, assisted by the Afcad in the Cal Classic Core folder and another invaluable Flickr album by John Hewson. Laying the airport out is made easier by possessing the UK VFR scenery from c.2000. Anyone who looks at the modern satellite image will find that there have been considerable developments in the area since then.
When the site operated as an airport in the 1950s the taxiways and hangars south of the road known as the A30 (which had been diverted during the war) were still in use, while the east-west runway was extended to about 6000 feet. No trace of the features south of the A30 now remains, at least from the air. There is no trace either of the large US Navy hangar and the housing which accompanied it. To accompany this airport I have also painted a Navy R7V-1, serial number 131635, Lockheed CN 4136, as shown in a photograph taken at Blackbushe in 1954 (Marson, vol. 1. 348). At the time it was with squadron VR-1 and flew the route Patuxent - Blackbushe - Naples - Port Lyautey. By the 1960s it was based at Keflavik and there is a paint of the livery of that period by Manfred. Marson says that it was without doubt the most regular R7V-1 visitor to the UK in the period 1954-71. It is clear from other of his photographs that Warning Stars also visited Blackbuahe.
The hangar in the first shot is from Dan French's new collection of military hangars for FS9. Wing textures, as previously, adapted from a file by Frank Gonzalez.
Last Edit: Apr 11, 2021 13:19:06 GMT -5 by connieguy