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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:13 am 
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I'm planning a 'themed' RTW trip starting later this year, and am considering which aircraft will be most suitable.

Because of the 'theme' ( which I won't elaborate on, because someone might attempt to do it before me ;) ), there are two very remote inhabited islands that I will be visiting - Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic, and Pitcairn in the Pacific. Neither has an airport, so it will be one low pass before heading back.

If I install the newly-completed airport on St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha would be a round trip of 3000 miles. Pitcairn would be a 2720 mile round trip from Papeete airport, Tahiti. ( Measurements taken from Google Earth, by the way. )

If fitted with Tokyo tanks and bomb-bay tanks, can the Fortress do it ? The alternative is using the Aerosoft Catalina which, being an amphibian, could land on the water at Tristan and Pitcairn to refuel for the return flight, but I'd like to use the Fortress if possible.

Any thoughts, ladies and gents ? :)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:51 am 
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It will do 2000 nm with a bit in reserve, but I don't think 2700 nm is possible.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:44 am 
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Hi.
As Tomas as stated , you can get from the mainland usa to phnl , with a bit in reserve , but you need favourable winds , else even that is imposible to do , i would say the catalina as a similar range , its just a lot slower , its duration in the air is about 16 hrs , but distance travelled is about 2000nm maybe a bit more but not much more.
regards alan. 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:49 am 
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Thanks, both. I thought the B-17 could do a bit better than that, if fitted with the extra tanks. Not that I've ever really looked in to it, admittedly

Looks like it'll be the PBY-5A, refuelling from 50-gallon drums on the beach.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:50 am 
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I've done 2,400 miles several times but that's down to single digits in each tank on landing, the last hour gets pretty tense.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:11 am 
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Weather can play a massive part for this too, so some super planning will be needed.

thanks,
Lewis

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:23 am 
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Yes, I think I'd be cutting it too fine for Pitcairn, and Tristan is out of the question. If they both had airports, it'd be a different story.

Of course there is the Constellation to consider, though I've yet to buy it. What is her maximum range ?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:28 pm 
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The manual says 3200nm. This always depends on winds of course.
I was on the way to testing this until I experienced an unknown prop sync issue. Regardless, I was 4 hrs in and 400nm travelled. It still had 10 hrs or more of endurance so it would be interesting to get some hard numbers.
Some rough numbers I recorded from the last 2 flights of 5 and 6 hours with 90,000 lbs max. takeoff.
Climb USG : 525 - 550
Cruise USG : 316 - 317
Descent USG : 170 - 188

The manual says that it only takes 36 minutes to 20,000 but that's with everything at 100% and I think at 82,000 lbs takeoff.
So that's about 550 USG to cruise level plus 190 USG to descend. The FE gets a little jumpy if you run low on fuel so keep reserve fuel of 100-150 USG per tank. I have yet to look closely at that area.
From 4740 UGS full - 550 - 190 - 600 = 3400 USG for cruising.
3400/317 = 10.7 hrs.
TAS corrected for wind = 230 knots at correct settings is the same as the book value. Tick for A2A there I think. :)
Ground speed 230 knots x 10.7 hrs = 2461 nm
Distance to climb recorded as 130-150 nm
Distance to descend @ 500 fpm and 230 knots : 150 nm
2461+150+150 = 2761 nm

These are just rough recordings from a couple of flights. So I am running short by about 450nm and time will tell how these numbers turn out. Economy will improve over time as the fuel burns off so I would expect the numbers to get closer to the 3200nm target.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:19 am 
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Thanks Trev. I think I'll download the Constellation manual and have a look it this. Under perfect conditions, she could do the round trip - but only just, and when are conditions ever perfect ? The problem with both Tristan da Cunha and Pitcairn is that there is no divert for fuel shortage - you either make it back, or swim.

Offhand, do you know whether the 3200NM range is with a full load, or empty, or somewhere in between ? :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:35 am 
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The 3200nm maximum range configuration is full fuel and 7800 lbs payload which is light compared to the maximum payload of 18400 lbs.
A trick you could use because its a round trip is to increase speed into the wind and decrease speed with it. The net effect is a saving of fuel due to spending less time going into it than with it. Something to try out.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:32 pm 
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Hi.
Max range i have flown in the connie with ASN giving me the weather , was 2500nm with max 44pax and 2200lbs cargo and full tanks , aircraft was slightly overweight at start of taxi to active , bang on max weight at t/o , on landing i had about 1 to 1.5 hrs of flight time fuel at 180knts i could have done , but once again you need favourable winds , but if everything goes your way , i would say between 2700 to 3000nm is possible but you might be on fumes.
I have found the fuel burn per eng to be about , 700pph climb 500/600pph cruise and about 400/500pph decent with power settings of man/rpm 30/23 climb 28 to 29/22 cruise 20/20 decent .
regards alan. 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:59 pm 
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Thanks for all the info, chaps. Looks like even the Constellation would struggle, so all that's left is the Stratocruiser. I'll have a look through her manual, but it's probably going to be the Catalina - around the world at 110 knots, and not just the shortest route either, because of...the theme ! It may take some time. :roll:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:21 pm 
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If you are using the Aerosoft(sorry) Catalina it should be relatively easy to simulate a few barrels of fuel. I did think of a Atlantic crossing in mine, but never got to it. Where are you starting your journey?

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Accu-Sim aircraft in my hangar:
C172, C182, P51 Civ, P51 Mil, B17, Spitfire, P47, B377 COTS,
J3 Cub, T6, Connie, P-40, V35B


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:45 am 
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Hi, Tomas. I'll starting the trip from the U.K., travelling south to the Mediterranean ( Gibraltar and Malta ) then down the west coast of Africa, from where I'll do the long over-water legs to Ascension, St. Helena and hopefully Tristan da Cunha. From Tristan, I'll either head back west via St Helena once more, or go direct to Cape Town. For the trip to Pitcairn Island, the only choice is to get to Tahiti, and do the round trip to Pitcairn from there.

It might seem an erratic route, but there are very specific reasons for including these remote places in my circumnavigation. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:11 am 
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Hi.
If you use the aerosoft catalina , then i would estimate the trip times at about the 90knts , as at 110knts is pushing it a bit in that old girl.
regards alan. 8)

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