Tag Archive

adf Africa Andrakaka C208 Carenado Cessna Grand Carava C208 Chitipa Christmas Caper 2011 CIX VFR Club Comoros Comoros Islands Dc-3 dodoma Flightsim.com FSX indian Ocean JF Just Flight Kalemie kilimatinde location Madagascar mainland Malawi Mayotte mbala Moheli Mosambique Mt. Karthala mtwara natation navigation Pamandzi Prince Said Ibrahim registration rmi Scenery sperry Tabora Tanzania The Bahamas theme Time zone Tundaru Turbulance vor

Leg12 pre-cursor

Yes!  Bloody Hell!  Belive it or not I’m about to  fly somewhere!  Backwards…..

I’ve decided on what aircraft I’m using to replace the DC-3 from just flight.  Read below.  Sorry if you don’t like the narration.  It’s fun

Read the rest of this entry »


While not ideal I have a fix.   It is ditch the DC-3 and get a new aircraft.   I have one in mind, but I won’t tell you until I’ve got to know it better.   IE does it work as advertised.

The buggers have deserted me.   I had a local come to me ‘with information’ but he insisted on payment, up front, for the info.  It turns out he saw Norm and the Co-pilot getting on a local commuter flight.  That info cost me $50.  And they were long gone.


Read the rest of this entry »


This DC-3 problem as we know is a show stopper.   I’m getting to the end of my tether.  I’m thinking of changing aircraft.   If I’m honest the DC-3 was annoying me.   There was so much aircraft managment that I was forgetting to look out of the window except for screen shots.

I’m considering my options.  I have several aircraft of a more modern  varity that would do the job with similar performance as the DC-3, but are rated for single pilot flying.  This means less micro managment.

I would continue with the DC-3, but I’m constantly having problems with it, and the newest one is the end of the line.

I’ll keep you posted.


Eric’s just told me that the DC-3 is scrap metal.  I had to take a gulp of my Pimms before I would talk to him.  He no longer works for me.  And he should have been grateful for the wages that I paid him.  Not that he did much..   So I’m stranded.  Norm and the Co-pilot have disapeared as well.    And the Hotel doesn’t supply the Times newspaper.   Can it get any worse?  I just hope the Pimms doesn’t run out.

Yet more problems

While everyone’s FS install has strange quirks mine seems stable at the moment.   Apart from having to run SB outside of FS.  But I understand that’s advised.

Weird things happen to everyone’s FS installs.   I recently installed scenery for Welshpool EGCW and I’ve lost Gloucestershire EGBJ.  The flatten is still there and the runway signs are there, but everything is covered by a layer of grass, and the tower has gone.  Maybe during the flight from EGCW to EGBJ (32 mins) there was a disaster.  Maybe a tidal wave.

Now while most problems can be overcome there are a few that cannot.  I’ve got one of those on the JF DC-3.   It will not take off without FSX crashing.  It’ll fly fine, but not take off.  This causes a problem for me.   I’m not gonna cheat and take off in another aircraft.  Well, maybe once,  but not constantly.

It’s not just my FSX either.  I’ve heard similar problems.  So I’m stuck at Tabora, Tanzania with an aircraft that I cannot fly.  It’s a bugger.    I did fly around Kilimanjaro with a friend in the Carenado Piper Saratoga.  The add on scenery we found from Flightsim makes the area very good. 38m resolution.

Tabora is within about 1 hour of Kilimanjaro and I view this mountain as my second big step.  the Rift valley lakes (Malawi) in particular being the most interesting for me.

So,  I’m stumped.  Suggestions on a postcard to

The Crazy bloke with a un-flyable DC-3




Myself, Norm, the co-pilot and Eric the engineer turned up at the ‘runway’ (flat mud in my opinion).  Eric’s first words before we got within 40feet of the bird were “We are not flying out today”.  I pressed him for a reason.  He started speaking a foreign language.  Something about crankcases and broken blocks.   Of course I hold him directly responsible.  My parting words as I left for the hotel were “Fix it, or leave”.  Yes, I know my man management skills are stunning huh? 🙂  I shall return later on to enthuse him with more words of wisdom.  Norm and the Co-pilot stayed to help Eric by pointing at things and asking “it is supposed to be like that”

Quite frankly I’m angry.  The aircraft should be ready to go at the drop of a hat.  And I don’t want to hear any more justifications that it’s a 50 year old aircraft.  You cannot tell me they were designed this poorly.   And if anyone suggests that it’s my ‘mis-handling’ that’s caused it, I will scream!


Burning Fuel = forward motion

Go and search the interwaits for “How much fuel can a DC-3 carry”  or a similar search and you’ll get as many answers as you can be bothered to read.  You get even more answers if you search for “DC-3 Range”.

It’s worth noting that there are more versions of the DC-3 then almost all other aircraft.

General concensus averages 1500NM.  The Just flight DC-3 carrys 4800lbs usable.  = 797.34 gallons of avgas.

Flying a few test flights by the numbers (as all good DC-3 pilots do) gives a range of  1246nm.  Assuming the Gallons per hour below :

Stock JF DC-3
4800lbs of AvGas = 797Gallons
Warm up and stuff = 10 gallons.
Takeoff 320GPH for 2 mins. = 10.6 Gallons
Initial Climb = 255gph for 5 mins = 21.25 Gallons.
Normal Climb = 120gph for 30 mins = 65 Gallons.
Cruise = 100gph for 6:40 =675 gph.
Approx total Fuel Used = 771.25 by my reconong, but 797 actually used.
797 Gallons Give a range of 1246 with a scalar of 1.19 (original) = 1.56 Miles per Gallon.

the numbers above are accurate enough (within 2%), but not accurate to a real DC-3. That would burn 90 in a normal cruise. And generally 10% Less for each cycle of the flight.

To be able to increase the range I took a 2 pronged approach. From spending some time in Excel I’ve summised that the FSX DC-3 burn around 10% more fuel then the should as per the real aircraft. It’s worth noting that differant RW aircraft will burn slightly less or more per hour, but the 10% is worked out from an average the RW pilots give.

To bring the FSX DC-3’s into line I’ve increased the available fuel from from 4800lbs to a more accurate (aircraft version dependant)

Modified DC-3 (just flight DC-3 with Fuel scalar and fuel amounts changed)

Total = 6000lbs fuel = 996.7 Gallons
996 Gallons give approx 1557 with scalar of 1.19 (Originial Scalar) = 1.56 Miles per Gallon.
996 Gallons give approx 1611 with scalar of 1.15 = 1.66 Miles Per gallon.

This may need looking at again,  but it seems good for a start.

Eric returned to the hunting lodge we have retired to smelling of paint thinners and looking smug.   I asked him to look at the fuel usage as I think it’s too high per hour.  He mentioned that 50year old engines are not going to burn what the book says.   Since the engines were rebuilt by the company he used to work for I suggested it was in his interest to consider my request.

There is an opinion that I’m working Eric too hard,  espically when we take his age into account.   In response he can rest when we are in the air..



Sorted.  The next guy up the chain turns up in ancient Morris Minor.

Not sure on the flags though.   Turns out my new nemesis was a man of action.  He stood there in a Panama hat and a wrinckled suit and told me to jump in, we would ‘sort’ the problem.  I wasn’t sure that was a good think or not :).    We arrive at the field and Eric is looking smug while asleep leaning on a main wheel.

It turns out that the issue with the lack of a registration number has mysteriourly resolved it’s self.

The next problem is that while the registration is resolved,  “There is much paperwork that needs fixing Sir”.  I immediatly reach for the wallet, but it turns our our Mr Bossman is a DC-3 fan.  His father used to fly DC-3’s for a local airline.    An hour in the air and all is sorted.   We leave on the next leg at 1st light.  I also made the promise to land at a strip next lake Malawi.  This is where his father lives.

After all that I’m happy.  But I know as I get further along the route I’ll need to make the registration look less Heath Robinson.   A quick phone call to the Uk and things are being sorted.

Problems with local law enforcment

An Offical in Tundara, with lots of shouting, that our nice shiny Dc-3 (read: bare aliminum) should have the correct markings upon it.   While technically he’s correct before I could assure him that we would fix the problem and that he should accept our payment of a ‘spot fine’  he got louder and louder until a local policeman that was asleep in his car woke up.

Things went from bad to worse and I ended up in the local police station explaining why my aircraft was unmarked to a large chap with a problem with the heat.  I’m now stuck here waiting for the next guy up the food chain to turn up.

Kinda annoying really.  I could see eric the engineer,I wonder what his real name is, was wondering around the DC-3 with a can of black emulsion and a thoughtful look.   I guessed that the problem was about to go away when the policeman woke up,  and I wasn’t quick enough with the smokes and ‘spot fine’ payments.

Meh.   Once I get this sorted we off.   It’s a nice place and the people are nice,  but officaldom is officialdom the world over.