Helifest 2024 Flight

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve taken part in one of our historic recreation or Christmas flights and I was reminded of this when I came across this post on the Helisimmer site, setting out the route for heli-adventure based on the route of the “historic Simplon Orient Express”.

Optimistic me feels ready to attempt this one starting on 5 August and going, well, until people get tired of it. And I thought that it was an idea to share this event with fellow my fellow Mudspikers.

The route, as teased above, follows the 1930s Simplon Orient Express from Paris through to Instanbul.

Specifically listed are stops at:

I am planning on doing this with ‘live’ weather, but with the timezone differences, I my opt for ‘representative weather’ on the day that I am travelling. I will also, probably, likely, insert stops along the way as some of the legs may be longer than I want. The key for me is to hit the main stopping points, and if I add more, then that’s fine.

If you are unsure about flying this route in a whirly-bird, then please feel free to use whatever air-frame suits your preferences or needs. I was going to joke that it should have some spinning contraption attached to it, but I didn’t want to remove the possibility that someone might use a glider and then I remembered that an altimeter counts as a spiny thing :slight_smile:

Though I am going with MSFS fior this event, I am not sure which helicopter I am going to go with: I’d like something with a bit of automation for longer legs but also want something that is a bit rustic, with less glass in the cockpit. I may just go with something from the Hype Performance Group or Cowan Sim, but this may also be a good excuse to get the MilTech Simulations CH-47D (though I am waiting patiently for the DCS release, really, ) or the Taog’s Hanger Huey.I know that their is a request that non-military aircraft are used, and I believe that there are civilian versions of these latter two helicopters available.

I will need to claim my flight PC back from my living room and Farm Sim 22, and get it redeployed to my flight sim cockpit. And get all the add-on softwares updated.

As for reports, I will post mine here. If I get ambitious I may create a account over at FlightSim.com and cross-post to the official thread: here.


I might be up for that… although I would have to start the trek a few days later as I am in training for the first week in August. Looks like an interesting and scenic trip!

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Ohh. I’ll do this on the xbox. Probably Cowen’s MD530 because it’s quick. Castle-hunting is my favorite MSFS pasttime so I might take detours where possible.


That looks like fun!

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Hmm, might take the HPG 145 or 160, though the Cowan sim 222 could be fun too. Decisions :thinking:

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Ooh, a helicopter adventure! I might be keen. My attention is not split enough between the Hind, the Gazelle, the 737 and X4: Foundations yet…


sounds good!

really dont know yet which sim or craft.

can we start any date from now on, or is it Aug fest?

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I think that you can start any time you want :-).


Well in that case…

I debated flying in from the US, but taking a helo across the Atlantic was a bit more time than I have to work with right now. I know the route starts in Paris, but I hadn’t done any sightseeing over London, so that seemed like a good excuse to start there. I was tempted to go from Biggin Hill, as it’s Biggin Hill, but I elected to start at Elstree (EGTR) on the NW side of London. It was 0247zulu, so I elected to bump the sim time up to about 0600 which had some great lighting

We’ll flying the Cowan Sim Bell 222B for the next bit. It’s not the deepest simulation, but it’s fun to fly, reasonably stable, but it requires you actually hand fly it (no autopilot here). It’d be perfect for my force trim cyclic, if I can get the dang thing wired up here soon. One thing I forgot is that they implemented persistent states in the last update, and you have to set fuel in sim, not the loading screen. I landed with about 25% fuel as I forgot to fuel up in sim.

South to London we go, trolling around looking at the sights. MSFS has a lot of the skyscrapers marked as points of interest, in addition to normal historical sights. At 2500’ MSL the autogen was playing catchup as you’ll see, but I think I still had it set for VR. Need to check on that. Few shots of the landmarks.

The National Maritime Musuem is housed in that complex, great museum if you’re in the area.

Southeast we go hitting the Channel near the famous white cliffs of Dover.

Fairly shortly France is in view.

Our stopping point in Calais, Les Deux Caps (LFIS)

And we’re down for the out first prologue leg (proleg?) .75 hours 99nm

Real world view

Time: 45 minutes
Dist: 99nm

I was going to try to get to Paris last night, but real life intervened. So, to pickup where we landed, we’re starting at Les Deux Caps (LFIS). It’s 132NM to Orly(LFPO) in Paris, but I’ going to be doing some sightseeing again. MSFS has two points of interest roughly along the way, and we’re going to see both.

So off we go this time at a real world 0531zulu start in Calais.

Coming from a part of the world that is mainly ranching and scrub brush, the amount of verdant fields in France and Britian is a marked contrast. It’s a pretty flight down to near Lens and just to the west of town I spot this interesting set of structures:

The giant office building shouldn’t be there obviously. This is in fact the Nécropole nationale de Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, which is a WW1 cemetery and Musuem, and the ring-shaped structure is the L’Anneau de la mémoire, another monument to those who died in WW1. A few real-world pictures from google.

We continue on to the MSFS point of interest, Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

The realworld monument must be amazing to see towering over the fields. From there we cut back Southwest to go visit the Amiens Cathedral.

About half way to Paris, real life intervened and I needed to find a place to land. Just off the nose was Conty Airport (LF34). I didn’t take any pictures, as it was all green fields as far as I could tell. Eventually I picked what I guessed to be the runaway and landed (one of the benefits of a helicopter), turns out I was about two fields over.

The building in the back circled in blue is where I should have been.


Time: 50 minutes
Dist: 98 nm

Trip Total
Time: 1:35
Dist: 197nm


And we’re in Paris after a bit of a hiatus. Here we are appropriately parked at Conty Airport (LF34), instead of being 2 fields over.

Again, very pretty country side. Lots of wind turbines, I didn’t realize France had gone in so big on them.

Paris coming into view.

Time: 31 minutes
Dist: 64 nm

Trip Total
Time: 2:06
Dist: 261 nm

I took the MSFS Cabri G2 for a rather overcast dawn flight around Paris. It’s a really nice little helicopter, very easy to fly, great visibility, and good performance for its size.

So far it’s been a fun flight, giving me a chance to do some solid helo touring. I’ve got the next leg planned out with about 80nm of extra flying to hit 4-5 points of interest.


I duno! :slight_smile:

I gravitated towards MSFS (note), but after first minute in HPG H135 realized that 120kt doesnt cut it for me.
I fly this speeds IRL, but in the sim its terrible slooow.

seems like only solution for me could be some VTOL jet :sunglasses:

but … IFE F-35 is too modern for me, DCD AV8B is imo not nice and too expensive in that regard.

I am stuck in Paris for now with nothing to fly with.

MSFS offers most out of the box. XP11/12 looks good only with addons (GlobalTrees, simHeaven, AutoOrtho).
plus performance for me in MSFS is good (around 50FPS [btw 50 is terribly low but thats the best I can do with MSFS/XP]), what is better than XP with addons suprisingly which drops to 25 around Paris.

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Try flying NOE, I find the sensation of speed in MSFS low to be quite good.


I’m thinking of doing just that, flying the Cabri nice and low :grin:


my only concern is 50FPS on 144Hz screen. I find the sensation of speed on this combo quite lacking.

dont know if its my eyes or brains or the combination but for me the happy place starts around 90FPS :slight_smile:

but I can give it another try and will see.

… looking at you AeroflyFS4 …


I too find MSFS exciting at 100 knots with the skids in the weeds. But there is zero chance I’d fly more than a few miles that way. One weakness with MSFS is the lack of roads and railroads other than the odd transparent overlay placed over whatever is captured by the orthophotos. Flying IFR(R) would be just the thing in this mission but the visual limits of the game make it nearly impossible.


did a quick test



and my conclusion? I fully agree with @smokinhole here, couldnt say it better :slight_smile:

so back to start: how to get to Istanbul and not die of boredom? :sunglasses: (dont get me wrong, the track seems exciting when you have exciting steed to ride on).

be aware that the freeware HPG H135 on flightsim_to was downgraded from version 447 to 444 because according to the dev “This build [444] removes the requirement for Hype Operations Center to be necessary for installation of the HPG H135 …” :thinking:
the big problem here is that with ‘back to 444’ we lost all the good updates and the helo is just meh again.
its easy to check. open your community folder, open your H135 folder and check if there is txt file called ‘Version_447’.
fortunately I did backup my v447.

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For something a little faster that won’t break the bank…

The V22 Osprey by MilTech might fit the bill as well (and is still a semi-helicopter)…


noice! totaly forgot about the Do, that one could work.

its actualy prety interesting craft. and I tend to like this kind of modules, unusual ones.

C47 ? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
Do31 ! :star_struck:


The other advantage of the Do, so I have read, is that it has such a short range it’ll probably be a good fit for us who have limited time for flying :grin:


2x Pegasus !? thats Double-Harrier ! :slight_smile:

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