McRoberston Air Race anyone?


I haven’t figured out a start date yet, but I definitely agree that having a hard start date would be great. The plan at the moment as far as running time will be 7-8 weeks. That works out to ~200 nm a day or so, which even in real time would be an hour to an hour and a half roughly.

I looked at Zeemap, it might be workable but it doesn’t seem particularly friendly for what I’ll need to it to do currently. I’ll play with it some more though and see if I’m just missing something with it (I only spend about 15 mins the other night).

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As this is going to be a LOT of pilotage, having high quality scenery to navigate by is going to be critical. I’d like to start figuring out resources for folks to use (free and pay at their preference of course). Accuracy for navigation purposes is of course the paramount issue. So any suggestions are appreciated.

I’ll open for the FSX crowd (hey if it aint broke why update it?):

FS Earth Tiles allows you to create your own ortho scenery for any given part of the planet. It’s an older, and now unsupported, utility, and the documentation is in French. Check it out here. It does take a bit to generate high res tiles (like all night somedays), depending on the range your AC, you might be able to knock out your planned flight area in only an hour or two.

The big advantage it has over tile-proxy types, is that you can do this even with a slow internet connection ahead of time.

As ortho scenery, you’re not going to have beautiful hand crafted airports, cities, etc, but it’s sure going to look a heck of a lot better than the default.


I assume you are going to give us the required stop airfields.

I would think that we’d want to use airfields available in? 1936? 1945? Maybe 1936 airfields that were still in use in 194t? :thinking:

Since FSX is “set” in 2006 and X-Plane is set in 2017(?), it would be great if we could find period airfield scenery to replace the modern scenery…if it exists.

If not, I can try to generate FSX (should work for P3D) airfields. Won’t be masterpieces but “Sufficient unto the day…” as it were.

Let me know. As a “really retired” retiree, I’ve got time. :slightly_smiling_face:


From the tentative rules post:

I haven’t had a chance to do any checking on what were the actual fields in place at that time. I imagine a lot of them were going to be pretty rough and unimproved.

I just figured you didn’t have a firewall at the office, lol.


Here’s a quick example of terrain produced with FS Earth Tiles. This is at fairly low level, and with 1 m/pixel resolution (resolution setting 1 in FSET). It took a while (I set it and went to bed), and the scenery is about 7 gb for the area from Mildenhall all the way to the coast.

You can see in the background where the default terrain kicks in. Dealing with the coastline and where the FSX water picks up is a bit of a pain, drawing the water mask etc. It’s certainly not hard, just something you have to mess with.

So if you have the disk space and time, you can have very nice hi res scenery for free, and without much more work then using google maps.

Alright, with a 2 m/pixel resolution, we’re sitting at 2.5 hours to render. For reference it has about 1/4 the number of tiles, so for 1 m/pixel resolution figure about 9 hours (overnight basically). Scenery size is right around 2.25 gb.

It looks pretty good! Even at 1400 baro altitude it looked great.

And finally 4 m/pixel. So total rendering time of ~35 mins, and total file size of about 590 mb.

How does it look you ask?

So in summary:

1 m/pixel, it looks great from 500’ AGL and above. It however takes a while to generate, and takes some HD space. If you’re flying real low, it might be worth it.

2 m/pixel, looks great from about 1000’ AGL, maybe 1500’ if you’re picky. More reasonable, both in time and space. The scenery still looks great, and very highly detailed. If you wanted the maximum detail for VFR flying this would probably be what I’d use.

4 m/pixel, it’s pretty pixelated below about 1500-2000’ AGL, but starts to look pretty decent as you near 4000’ AGL and higher. Generation time was pretty quick, and space usage was minimal. Realistically this is probably what I’ll use, unless I need super high-res scenery for some reason.


So, this is basically the same thing as Ortho4XP, but for FSX? Didn’t even know it existed…

This doesn’t involve transparent alpha masks with “magic purple”, (or pink, whatever) does it?


Ummm, well… It’s green at least, if that helps?

Honestly it’s probably something that could be automated/scripted in PS these days. I may play with that if I have some time.


The Christmas trek is well and truly over… time to think about this challenge maybe?


Definitely. I have a bit of a full plate for the next week, but after that…I’ll be good to go.


Totally down. Slammed this week, and then finally things settle down at work after this week. I’ll put up some “official” rules, get entries etc. Figure maybe start the week of the 18th?


I want to use my new Mig-19!!!


That would be the WW2 and later jet and etc. division. Now if you can figure out how to get Australia into DCS you’re set!


Just find out the mileage and fly backward and forwards over Persian gulf :joy::joy:


Sounds good…! Looking forward to it.


Alright, back in the flight sim saddle again. I ended up shooting IndyCar on contract, which was unexpected to say the least.

I’m thinking a start date of April 5th, and we’ll run through the May 17th. That would give everyone 7 weeks to finish the race.

Do we want to keep this more along the lines of the Xmas flight, or do we want to have a few more rules?


Personally I think the fewer rules the better. Just like the Christmas flight. We should try to keep the mandatory stops on the route though (imho).


I’m the same - I’m keen but real life gets in the way to the extent that flying 10k nm’s at 150kts or something (assuming a 1930’s prop plane) isn’t something I have any hope to accomplish in 7 weeks…I don’t mind participating and not finishing within the timeframe but in general the fewer rules the better.


A good point. What are out thoughts on time compression?


Here is what I am thinking in terms of pared down rules, please let me know what the community thinks:

Start date is Friday April 5th, end date goal is May 17th. Just like the Xmas flight, if you’re late, shine on you crazy diamond

Experiential class - Anything you have in a sim is good to go (if you want to fly an SR-71, or do an orbital insertion, go for it).

Air Race class - pre WW2, encompassing any AC built and launched prior to 1939

Rules pertaining to both classes:

Launching from RAF Mildenhall, you must land at each checkpoint (airport, or rough field landing is up to the individual flyer), with the ending point being Melbourne Australia. Any intermediate stops are solely at the discretion of the pilot. Route selection besides reaching the listed major checkpoints is entirely up to the pilot.

RAF Mildenhall (EGUN) - Start
Melbourne - Finish

Time acceleration is allowed, and any acceleration setting desired my be used.


Pilots will be responsible for tracking their own time and mileage. They should post a running total of both with their reports, though this can be amalgamated if several legs are flown and reported in one post.


Pilots should, in their best 1930’s news writer impression, report their travels along the race route.

Unless you’re flying in the Air Race class, that’s it for the rules.

Air Race class:

All pilots should compete in the Spirit of Fair Play (SoFP), taking no action that would intentionally garner them an unfair competitive advantage over their rivals.

Planes may be changed at any time so long as it is eligible for the Air Race class.


As we are somewhat simulating a 1930’s airspace environment, GPS, SatNav, Radar Nav, etc didn’t exist. Pilots are PROHIBITED (with the emergency section listed below) from using any map, gauge, etc that displays their position without requiring manual calculation by the user except as listed below for Radio Navigation. For example the default FSX GPS gauge and flight tracking map are a no go. Using a Sextant gauge, taking a star shot, plotting it on google maps, etc. is totally good. Addon GPS or nav systems, inertial, doppler, etc, are prohibited as well. In short in the SoFP if something is automatically doing navigation for you, it’s prohibited. Remember we’re trying to capture the spirit of the 1930’s when even accurate paper maps could be a rarity. Getting lost is half the fun!

Radio Navigation was a thing back then, but to be honest, I’m am not terribly familiar with what was available back then. Early RF options basically could fix and locate radio signals similar to an NBD, including local AM stations. For our purposes the closest capability we have to that is NBD’s. NBD’s may be used for navigation purposes, provided this does not run afoul of the preceding paragraph.

Emergency Navigation Assistance: We are all probably going to get lost (well I am at least). To simulate the real world capability to land and simply ask “Where the heck am I?!” safely landing your craft will allow for the use of a real time/exact location system (default FSX map or GPS for instance).


Any pre-WW2 craft that was equipped with some manner of “autopilot” may use it during any portion of flight, provide it behaves in a reasonably similar fashion as it did historically.


Real world weather should be used at all times, except if in True Explorer Spirit™ the pilot elects to have more difficult weather. If real world weather is not available for that area, default seasonal weather (if your sim has that) is allowed, or if that is not available, cloudy (but VFR) weather as determined to be in the SoFP by the pilot will be used.


ATC will not be used in a manner so as to gain an unfair advantage. So no IFR flight plan, where you don’t have to do any navigation, etc.


I’ll try and take part, but my last two strikes at the Christmas flight have ended in failure. If someone could suspend RL for a while and I could really enjoy myself. :slightly_smiling_face: