Official Inaugural Mudspike Christmas Flight thread

So proud. sniff

Well done!


Oh man…someone else that figured out the Doppler system. That makes two of you…! :laughing: That’s awesome…really nice report and a cool bird to fly. And DCS does a great job with winter textures and “feel”…makes me want to pull down my “ushanka” and burrow down…



Time to get a move on…that low pressure system over the Great Lakes is probably going to continue to swirl northeastward and things could get ugly up that way…

Track my realtime progress here:

429nm leg

EDIT - Well, maybe not. Just got paged to go fly a real trip…LOL…


Before the overcast appeared:

To make the flight more interesting, I decided that some nasty weather hit the northern part of the Caucasus. Overcast from 2000 meters up to about 2600-2800

Some changes to the plan were made to make it more flyable with the strong wind still coming from the east (is that a metaphor?): I would fly to Maykop first, using the doppler nav and the NDB marker on the eastern outskirts of the city.
An added bonus is that Maykop gives me an opportunity to land and resume the flight later.

ARK-9 primary radio is set for the Maykop NDB, secondary for Soci-Adler’s inner marker (that’s my divert airfield).
I set the doppler for a heading of 337, all the other dials at zero: I’m using EinsteinEPs “From method” again. I make a mental note: it’s 180 km to Maykop airfield.

The fog is dense, but the overcast is my real worry: right after takeoff (17:00 local time) I start climbing as fast as I can.

Going through the clouds is the scariest part, with zero visibility every passing puff of cloud completely confuses my sense of direction and velocity. TrackIR is very useful to focus solely on the instruments on the dash in front of me: keep the attitude indicator sort of level, keep the VVI in the positive and hold heading north. I was flying this manually, no time to trim the big chopper.

And then, after some wobbling through the soup:

We made it! Yes!

The sun is always shining above the clouds, but it’s still pretty cold up here. Luckily, we had manually turned on both engines anti-ice systems, as well as both pitot heats and the clock and battery heat, as well as the KO-50 cabin heater.

Now, it’s time to look at the Doppler nav system: less than 1 km off, great! The climb felt very rough, but apparently it’s my lucky day. Heading north, combined with the wind blowing me west gave more or less the right drift angle.
Flying over the mountains, or rather letting the autopilot fly, is very relaxing. While carefully watching the Doppler drift indicator and subtly tapping the rudder pedals now and then, I enjoy the view.

As the mountains vanish in the distance, I patiently wait for the Doppler to read 140 km travelled…

… then drop through the clouds.

And there’s the city.
I check my real-world time: one hour left to fly. Let’s go all the way to Krasnodar, I’ve got plenty of fuel and it’s only 100 km with a strong tailwind.

This is the second interesting part of my flight (@EinsteinEP, watch me!) as I have to reset the nav equipment on the fly. I aim for the Maykop NDB and let the autopilot do its thing.
Now, I turn off the Doppler radar and change the course: from the Maykop NDB to Krasnodar center, I have to fly heading 299 magnetic,(roughly minus 6 equals 293 true) for 103 km.
So, the new heading is set to 293 and I dial all the other numbers back to zero.

I still need the primary ARK-9 radio to keep on guiding me to the Maykop NDB at 682 kHz, but I can change the backup (left), which was set to Sochi, to receive Krasnodar Centers inner beacon at 303 kHz.

Everything is set up, now all I have to do is lose some altitude and fly exactly on top of the Maykop NDB while I turn the Doppler radar back on.

And off we go!

As I was flying the last part of my journey to Krasnodar, the sun set. Upon arrival at Krasnodar, visibility was limited and the darkness was only held back by the lights of the city.

Upon reaching the city, I stop following the Radar nav, and turn towards the inner marker beacon to arrive at downwind.

The landing is easy this time, with a firm headwind and virtually no cross-component, I don’t even lose effective translational lift, even with zero ground speed.

Load up the presents, Santa!


Well done! Little tricky switching nav references in flight, sounds like it went well for you! Congrats!

So my doomed plan progress so far. Take the Wright Flyer to the North Pole from the nearest inhabited airfield. I have some problems to overcome, namely:

  1. I need to go over 500 nm, and the Flyer is good for about 120 feet.

  2. There is no way to navigate other than the sun, and my sextant is going to get caught on my cashmere jacket.

  3. I have fuel for about 35 minutes, and I’ll need about 67 hours worth.

  4. It’s pitch black outside and I have no lights.

So, first off for (1) I use some Elf Pixie dust to hit my seasonal target diet weight of 0kg. That should make me look good in a sweater.

For (2) and the navigation, I’ll use a ‘top down’ view in FSX that at least orientates to true north (in theory). For (3) I can either cheat or get a higher start, I’m not sure yet. For the dark, I’ve got a pass from @BeachAV8R to change it to summer.

Let’s have a look at that top-down view:

Sort of works. Let’s see if she can take off:

Ah, going down again…

You can do it 12hp engine! (Plus this thing is keeping me warm):smile:

Using my weight-loss regime I’m up!

Ok, head North then, by going up on the top-down view. There are no fancy luxuries like ailerons on the ol Flyer, so I ‘twist’ the box frame to turn. And yes, that’s the elevators at the front.

After about an hour I start to fall out of the sky once more…

I’m never going to get to Santa at this rate. Time for a uplift boost with a Plan B.

I set a tail wind of 80 knots from the South, and up my altitude a little (squint and imagine Reindeer pulling me up here, with a ho ho ho in the background)

Ok, I can’t breath here at 40,000 ft. Plus I don’t think the engines like it. (Engineering qualified readers may now notice the lack of propellers spinning, which I’m assuming is sub-optimal)

FSX comes up with a handy flying tip ‘To start engines press CTRL+E’. Thanks man…

Ok, hurtling back to Earth now. Things breaking up.

I’m falling at 800 ft/s surrounding by canvas, wood and sharp wire…

Everything is freezing - going solid ice. Can’t be good.

Hmm, I think I may have broke FSX rather than that being an ice effect:

‘FSX has stoppped working’.


Oh well, I think I need a plan C. Here’s my progress so far:


That’s some Mudspike-ingenuity right there! Keep us posted, @fearlessfrog! We’re all rooting for you!

(Psst, @BeachAV8R. If frog doesn’t make it back, can I get his office?)

I’ve calculated my quasiprobability odds, and it says here “2³²-1”. It certainly feels like I’m in a Fock state right now. :smile:

We just couldn’t handle all the cold up in Canadia, so we decided to make Christmas happen early so we can get the heck home.

Congrats, Mudspike! It’s your very own Concorde!

The paint job needs a few tweaks, but we figured we could do that someplace where our margaritas won’t freeze in our hands.

Despite the amazing new paintjob, Concorde is still a handful to get started. I have another INS alignment issue which delays pushback 10 minutes. That time was all that was necessary for the weather to deteriorate - a light snow starts falling on the airfield.

I’ve filed IFR, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to fly in ANY weather. A quick check of the current conditions tells me I should be fine once I get up in the air.

Is there some rule of thumb about not being able to see the other end of the runway? Good thing I don’t know it.

And, vroom! We’re outta there!

Just like the flight up, my hands are busy during the very quick ascent, trying to maintain center of gravity with the fuel system, but we’re on top and cruising at M 0.95 pretty quickly.

“This is the worst inflight movie EVER.”
“No, they could have played Bio-Dome”.
“Ah, good point.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve just crossed the US Canadian border into the United States. Please feel free to take out any weapons you may have carried on, and your sense of entitlement.”

The weather looks ucky out the cockpit window, but the weather at KTUS looks good. Just have to keep trucking.

Another early Christmas present was I bought myself Orbx’s FTX Global to get some better views in between airports. Here’s another shot of the Grand Canyon. Compare it to the shot earlier in this post. The final pic isn’t really all that great, but it’s world’s better than the default.

During descent, I somehow let the fuel panel get away from me, and I spend most of the descent switching valves off and on and then off again. What a mess! I’m able to avoid a serious CG excursion but that was way too much stress. I gotta stick to supersonic flights from here on out!

It may take an expert eye to see it, but this panel says “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!”

One moment I’m looking at the fuel panel, the next moment it’s completely dark in the cockpit. Wuuuut?

Must have just flown into a large cloud - weather still looks good at KTUS.

Once I get out of the clouds, the weather is great, if a little bumpy.

Visibility for miles! 10+, to be exact.

Configured for landing…

Touchdown and reversers!

Home sweet home!

So there it is, the Mudspike Concorde is now officially home! You guys are all welcome to borrow it the next time you’re in Tucson. Except, @BeachAV8R: no tundra tires, ok? :wink:


Yeah…but you have to pay the fumigation costs…

Right on! That’s what I’m talking about. Can you mount triple ejector racks on it??

Me…I had one of those nights in the real airplane where you are just happy to get it back in the hangar. Driving around at turbulent air penetration speed and hoping you don’t poke your nose into the wrong thing. Always a great thing when Atlanta departure says: “Two-ten Charlie Mike…just to let you know…we had two aircraft report lighting strikes in the past twenty minutes just south of your location…” Bzzzt…flash…bzzt…flash…o’rly??

T’was all worth it though. Patient got delivered, and I had a fine blackened grouper at the Downwind. 10/10 would do again…




As it so happens, Santa has just delivered a couple of those hat racks to the Ms.’ at Nalchik!



So I’m looking for something that I can glide to the North Pole. In the spirit of the challenge, I don’t want to put a big engine on something and cheat.

There must be something with a similar glide ratio to the Wright Flyer?


Ok, now to get to a polar orbit and run the numbers to hit that grotto right on…

Link for anyone that wants to try too:


Alrighty…I’m gonna try again…that weather is definitely moving in…

If you pass over a brown piece of canvas, wood and sharp wire about 10 miles north of the field then please wave. :wave:

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Should I drop a survival kit?

And yeah…the weather is definitely not improving…LOL…gonna be an interesting couple of days…

It’s ok, I’ve got a tweed hat.

Only ‘heavy snow, Blowing snow’, so that’s pretty much Canadian Spring up there. :snowman:

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METAR Report for Igloolik (CYGT), Igloolik, Canada looks pretty good…except for the fact that it’s over 7 hours old…uh…well, we’ll take a look and see what we see. We have enough fuel to miss the approach and head elsewhere…

CYGT 232100Z 29011KT 15SM FEW040 M33/M37 A2974 RMK SC1 -27.7/-35.6/0.0/29/ TR LOOSE LAST STFD OBS NEXT 24 1000Z SLP081 DENSITY ALT MISG

Arrived safely in Igloolik - the weather must not have caught up to here yet…because it was pretty nice…!

Next up is Clyde River (CYCY) on the edge of the Davis Strait separating Canada from Greenland…283 nm on this next leg…



Arrived…not so safely at Clyde River (CYCY). The airport there has a bit of a drop off at the beginning of the runway…and if you don’t time your flare to hit the slope on the rise…well…you can damage your aircraft. Which I did… LOL… So I’ll put the plane in the hangar tonight at CYCY and see if I can’t get the damaged engine fixed up…

Just a hop away from Greenland now!


I love you guys, a years worth of reading in 1 thread. I cant do any flying while so much real life stuff remains to be done. For now I give you my Christmas HIP flight with presents

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