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21 hours ago, Kip Powick said:

...........just the start and takeoff with 6 turning and 4 burning.....?

Strategic Air Command

great movie! Has some cool B-47 scenes in the last half. 

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3 hours ago, st27 said:

Not sure what this guy thought was going to happen but......maybe power off and brakes would have been a better choice.


ya think?


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interesting.  just tried the same thing in MSFS2020 in a 172.  induced the same error and tried to get it airborne.  i missed the hangar but took out another building.cutting the power and hitting the  brakes worked fine even though I was on the lawn

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I am facinated by the full right aileron input to turn the aircraft right while on the ground. A good example of what humans resort to (in grained training - in this case driving a car perhaps) when faced with extremely high levels of stress.

Edited by JL
A more complete thought than a flippant one.
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On 9/4/2020 at 11:01 AM, boestar said:

interesting.  just tried the same thing in MSFS2020 in a 172.  induced the same error and tried to get it airborne.  i missed the hangar but took out another building.cutting the power and hitting the  brakes worked fine even though I was on the lawn

How is MSFS2020 ???  Clips leading up to it were quite spectacular ???

What sort of computer are you running it on ??  How big a screen ??



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Been evaluating it the past few weeks. A great tool to view the world and experience flight but unfortunately, the aircraft aerodynamic and systems modelling is quite poor. 

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Once third party add on aircraft are available it could be quite the game changer. Word is Xplane 12 is working on scenery that will be similar to Flightsim 2020. Competition is a great thing.

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Mostly I guess for those flying Private rather than commercial:

FAA Air Traffic Report

Pilots: Check out the new Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA) Tool from the Aviation Weather Center.

For up-to-the-minute air traffic operations information, visit fly.faa.gov, and follow @FAANews on Twitter for the latest news and Air Traffic Alerts.

The FAA Air Traffic Report provides a reasonable expectation of any daily impactsto normal air traffic operations, i.e. arrival/departure delays, ground stoppages, airport closures. This information is for air traffic operations planning purposes and is reliable as weather forecasts and other factors beyond our ability to control.

Always check with your air carrier for flight-specific delay information.

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Out the window of a Lancaster bomber, the past takes wing


  • Toronto Star
  • 6 Sep 2020
img?regionKey=qIq6aqGLQl0QOgADUdmYyQ%3d%3dBARRY GRAY THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR Reporter Rob Ferguson in front of the Lancaseter in Hamilton. His uncle Norm Mason of Scarborough flew in Lancasters over Europe and Germany, and Ferguson’s dad did anti-submarine patrols in the North Atlantic during the Second World War.

Flying toward Niagara Falls aboard a vintage Lancaster bomber, retired Presbyterian minister Gord Hastings tries hoisting himself into the mid-upper gun position for a familiar view.

The revolving turret he calls “the fishbowl” — atop the fuselage halfway to the tail from the cockpit canopy — was once his pulpit for dangerous missions over occupied Europe and Germany in the Second World War.

But, at 96, it’s not easy to get back to that vantage point with the iconic aircraft hurtling along at three miles a minute, throbbing from its four powerful engines and bobbing gently at a sightseeing altitude of 3,500 feet.

Back in the day and with a boost from crewmates at his base near Cambridge, England, Hastings would climb into his seat ready to loose bursts from twin machine guns at attacking Nazi fighter planes. Also to keep an eye out for planes above getting too close or opening bomb bay doors, a sign their deadly cargo was ready to rain down.

Because that could ruin your day as easily as a shell from anti-aircraft guns 20,000 feet below on an eight-hour overnight mission to Berlin, leaving at bedtime and returning at dawn.

In the dark and the noise and the terror — yours and the enemy’s.

Barely out of high school, through all weather, dodging searchlights and flak, watching helplessly as nearby planes

with friends inside vapourized from direct hits or burst into flames. Praying for parachutes to sprout as crippled bombers spin toward the hell of cities ablaze or in ruin. Counting the silk canopies. Did all seven crew members manage to bail out in the chaos?

Often, not. A tour of duty was 30 missions, if your luck lasted that long. There were 120,000 British, Commonwealth and Allied aircrew in Bomber Command and 55,573 were killed, including 10,695 Canadians who braved the skies to stop Hitler.

“The big chop was just a careless piece of red hot shrapnel away,” former Royal Air Force Lancaster pilot Philip Gray wrote in his 1995 memoir, “Ghosts of Targets Past,” describing a nearby Lanc taking a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire with its bomb bay doors open: “One minute it was there, and the next it was spread all over the sky.”

“You can feel the fear rippling up from the nape of your neck, to the top of your head ... the mouth is so dry that it seems even our chewing gum has turned to sawdust,” continued Gray, who emigrated to Canada in1990 and died seven years ago in Etobicoke.

This much safer flight was Hastings’s first sortie in a Lanc since the end of the war in 1945, courtesy of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton’s airport. His presence, a serendipitous coincidence, turns the aircraft into a time machine for three fellow passengers. One in particular.

“It was remarkable,” the Royal Canadian Air Force veteran says with awe after landing, smiling and pretending to wipe sweat from his brow. He breaks into an old song popular in the wartime pubs: “Show me the way to go home, I’m tired and I want to go to bed ... ”

Slightly stooped, accustomed to using a walker, but game for adventure, Hastings accepted a steadying under-the-arms lift toward the turret above his seat on the one-hour jaunt. Unfortunately, it proved difficult to get him all the way up given the risk that the ride gets bumpy on a steamy summer Sunday.

“Watch your head. We have enough DNA samples,” pilot and museum chief executive Dave Rohrer had warned with a wink in the pre-flight briefing. He flew the supersonic CF-5 jet fighter and Twin Huey helicopters in the Canadian Armed Forces before moving to the Transportation Safety Board and Transport Canada.

Apologizing for not being able to boost him into the fishbowl, I caught up with Hastings and Laura Waters, one of his three daughters, outside the museum’s restaurant where we could talk. It was impossible to hear in the air with the 1,695-horsepower, 12-cylinder Packard Merlins, which also powered some Spitfires and P-51s, roaring at 100 decibels.

“I’m glad. Too many memories,” answers Hastings, who looked pensively from his portside seat’s small side windows out to the lush green countryside and as we banked steeply over the famous falls in the city where he lives after stints at churches in Sudbury, Guelph, Brantford, Scarborough and Uxbridge.

Keeping the Welland Canal to starboard, we continue north to watch the Toronto skyline come into view, performing a tight circle around a CN Tower that seemed touchably close, then quickly passing over the Lansdowne and Garden Avenue neighbourhood where he was raised, before returning to base.

The touchdown was as easy as the takeoff, performed at 70 per cent throttle with a runway roll two-thirds shorter than with a full wartime bomb load, which was much higher than the capacity of an American B-17, as Commonwealth fly boys still like to boast.

Watching Hastings from time to time, I imagine the missions flashing through his mind’s eye. Such as the six-hour, 40-minute run to the German city of Chemnitz, then at the Russian front, on Valentine’s Day 1945, with 3,000 pounds of bombs and 10 illumination flares dropped from18,000 feet, as detailed in his flight log book. The moment brought back memories of my uncle Norm Mason of Scarborough, who also flew in Lancasters over Europe and Germany, and my dad, who did anti-submarine patrols in the North Atlantic. Both were radio operators and air gunners, on board with me in spirit only.

They would be the same age as Hastings and I always wondered what it would be like to fly in their footsteps, even with no one shooting from the air, ground or deck of a U-boat. My only taste of this life was a couple of interesting years in the army reserve four decades ago. Then came this priceless and emotional flight, a generous milestone birthday gift from my co-pilot, Kristin Jenkins.

Hastings became the guide, as he was during the war in 405 Pathfinder Squadron that went over targets first to mark them for the bomber streams that followed, sometimes totalling 1,000 aircraft, for all-out raids on war industries and, more controversially, to flatten and burn cities like Dresden and Hamburg.

A searing memory was seeing another Lancaster close overhead, and the potential danger of collision or bombs dropping that could shear off a wing or explode, prompting many a mid-upper gunner to get on the intercom and urgently tell his pilot to take evasive action.

“Goodbye honeybunch!” Hastings quips with a nervous laugh. “In a flash I had the most severe headache. What was going to happen?”

Aside from air combat, there were food drops to the starving Dutch in Operation Manna and a close call on the way home from the European war in June 1945, en route to Canada for retraining and the continuing war against Japan, when his Lancaster went into a steep dive offshore from Newfoundland.

The pilot had gone aft to the washroom and an American Air Force pilot hitching a ride awkwardly took the helm, requiring a quick assist from the flight engineer reaching over to pull up on the yoke.


“It was the best thing for me,” Hastings said of his air force service. Despite growing up in the Great Depression of the 1930s, “I had everything too easy. It introduced me to a new world. The experience made life meaningful.”

With the war in the Pacific ending 75 years ago last Tuesday, Hastings notes “the Americans dropped the A-bomb and that ended our trip to Japan.” This hits home because my father had put in for navigator training in the same final push against tyranny.

Uncle Norm’s busiest times in 419 “Moose” Squadron based at Middleton St. George — the same squadron whose colours adorn the warplane museum’s Lancaster, complete with a tiny stuffed moose in the cockpit canopy — came in the run-up to D-Day on June 6, 1944, and after.

German gun positions at Calais on the coast of France, oil tanks in Bremen, the port of Stettin, several railway marshalling yards, the Falaise Gap

— where German resistance was holding up the Allied advance — a V-1 “Doodlebug” unmanned flying bomb storage depot at Saint-Leu-d’Esserent north of Paris, to name a few.

His log book for September 1944 is marked with a certificate of membership from the Caterpillar Club “for having saved his life by parachute” after his Lancaster sustained serious damage on a mission. He landed in friendly territory.

When aircrew returned to base, they looked forward to a hearty meal of bacon and eggs after a debriefing on their experience with enemy fighters and defences on the way to and from targets, and then to the local pub if they weren’t on the battle order to fly again that night.

Rohrer, one of the warplane museum’s handful of Lancaster pilots, recalls just such an establishment from his 2014 trip to England to fly the Lancaster on acommemorative tour with the Royal Air Force Lanc, the only other airworthy model in the world.

At the Blue Bell Tavern in Lincolnshire, the nexus of Second World War “bomber country” with dozens of airbases, he was having a pint and noticed countless coins stuffed into cracks in the beams over the bar.

“We wondered what is that and why is that,” Rohrer tells me in a boardroom overlooking dozens of planes on the museum floor below.

“The bartender said ‘the crews would order a beer, get their shillings back in change and rather than put them in their pocket, they’d put them in the beam so after the next mission they’d have money to buy another pint.”

That sinks in for a moment. There is a lump in my throat.

“I doubt it was the only tavern like that,” Rohrer adds, solemnly. “All those guys are gone. It’s almost sacred. Nobody would touch that money. It’s a remembrance of their duty and service and sacrifice. The Blue Bell touched our hearts.”

A familiar sight in the skies of southern Ontario and a fixture at many an air show — including the annual Labour Day weekend Canadian National

Exhibition show cancelled this year because of COVID-19 — the museum’s Lancaster is affectionately known as Vera.

She was built in 1945 at the Victory Aircraft factory in Malton, which turned out one a day for the war effort. Vera never saw combat, but served in the RCAF until retired in1964, then ended up on a pedestal in Goderich before being rescued by the museum in 1977 and restored to flying condition over11 years.

Vera has been back in the air since 1988. Flights are available weekends from May to November in Vera and several vintage planes at prices from $100 to $3,600, with some including a tax receipt for a portion.

Aviation buffs come from all over the globe to fly in the Lancaster, which Rohrer calls “a great piece of history.” The museum operates it about 50 hours a year at a cost of about $5,000 hourly for maintenance, fuel, parts and materials. It burns 220 gallons of fuel an hour. A new set of tires is $12,000.

Rohrer wants people to know the history and the stories behind the plane — which conspicuously carries a memorial wreath in its nose where the front gunner and bomb aimer worked — to guard against future conflicts.

“We don’t glorify war because war is a failure,” says Rohrer, who also flies the museum’s B-25 Mitchell bomber, the C-47 and still works as a corporate pilot. “If I retired, I’d only want to do what I do now.”

He envisions keeping these planes in the air for another 50 years with careful maintenance for the benefit of future generations and aspiring aviators.

Air Cadet Sgt. Euan MacDonald of Dartmouth, N.S., is one. The teen set up a fundraising page on Facebook , did bottle drives and bake sales to raise the money to fly in the Lancaster four years ago at the age of11, eventually connecting with a Montreal woman who contributed $1,000 on the condition he take her brother’s ashes along for the ride.

Asked by a TV reporter if the flight was as exciting as he expected, young Euan replied: “Definitely not. It was better!”

“I’m glad. Too many memories.” ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE VETERAN

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Tried out the Oculus Rifts S on xplane 11.4 and the experience was quite good....for the view outside. For detailed interior graphics such as PFD MFD MCDU FMS displays the resolution is not quite there. You have to lean in a bit to see the numbers clearly. There is still a "screen door" effect, although minimal. For aircraft with minimal switch interaction such as light aircraft and military aircraft, a good set of flight controls will keep you happy. For more complex transport category aircraft with overhead panel and such you need to use the VR controllers. They work well but kind of spoil the full immersion experience VR provides. Haptic sensors in gloves are coming along with 8K resolution goggles...then I think there will be a lot of happy fligh simmers.

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On 9/5/2020 at 1:24 PM, AIP said:

How is MSFS2020 ???  Clips leading up to it were quite spectacular ???

What sort of computer are you running it on ??  How big a screen ??



I was a Alpha tester on the program.

The visuals are Quite Spectacular.  There are still quite a few bugs that need to be remedied but over all it is far ahead of anything else out there.

I am runing a Ryzen 7 3800X  with 32 GB ram and an RX5700XT Video Card.  Application is running off of an NvME SSD via PCIe4.0.

I hit 50-60 FPS flying and 30-40 on the ground at a large airport.  MS has some optimization to do yet.

I am running a triple monitor 23" setup.


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