Two of three.



Both thrilling and chilling to contemplate is this release from Olixsim for X-Plane 11.


Perhaps, in this age, it the second most instantly recognizable aircraft of World War II, in form if not in name. Does it not come to mind? Herr Hitler pacing away from one of them in some black and white image?

And, perhaps, the most recognizable? Strangely, it would be an aircraft made by the same company, the Ju-87 “Stuka”, the distinctive appearance of which epitomizes the dark and turbulent times of the fall of Poland and France, when most of continental Europe was left reeling with the utter shock of the Blitzkrieg.

The Ju-52 was there all through, and before, from dizzying victory to desperate defeat, as an omnipresent work horse in the background, equal in this status to the Allies C-47.

But maybe we should concentrate on the aircraft’s background itself, and not harp on solely about its wartime history. This brings us to Hugo Junkers, a man who in the progression of aviation’s advancement contributed more than most would give credit for…


This, not least, because it was aircraft of his factory that in 1919 were operated in the establishment the company for which I now work, then known as SCADTA, in Baranquilla, Colombia. Hugo Junkers developed the first all metal aircraft to enter service in World War I, and later, some highly successful all metal passenger carrying aircraft, the Junkers F-13 and W-33/34. It was these predecessors of “Auntie Ju”, equipped with floats and flown by a handful of German pilots, that brought commercial aviation to Latin America, initially along the Magdalena river.

It is ironic, however, that the head of a company that can more readily bring to mind some very effective warplanes, not least the fabulously versatile Ju-88 and its variants, and the then incredibly high flying Ju-86P, was in fact a pacifist dedicated to the advancement of civil aviation. He had no interest in arming the Third Reich, and eventually had to be forced from his company by political pressure in order that the manufacturing resources could be used for the production of the war machine.

The three engine, and definitive, version of the Ju-52, was designed and created on the eve of these events, exclusively as a passenger aircraft, chiefly for the Deutsche Luft Hansa airline. It is therefore, once more, amusing that the first sales of the Ju-52 were to Bolivia, in Latin America again, for a local airline out of Cochabamba that almost immediately had them pressed into action supporting the Chaco War against Paraguay, in 1932. For all the intentions of it spreading the wings of peace, this aircraft seemed to be born to fight from the start.

But enough of this prelude. It is an obscure corner of history, Germany’s influence on the expansion of aviation in South America, which worried the United States enough that Pan American Airways saw it necessary to establish an associated airline for the purposes of competition in a market it perceived more as its own concern than a German one. But that is for another occasion. And a different aircraft.

I had previously (on XP 10) located and tried a free Ju-52 on XP that was not too bad, but not great, and that had a lot of liveries support. This one…

Initially, I thought the more recent find might be the same one, until I saw it had a price tag on it. My heart skipped a beat at the thought it might be a “properly” done Ju-52. As you can tell from the above, I am a bit of a fan. Looking up a bit more, I realized it was a reasonably new release for XP 11. So, as we say around here, “shut up and take my money”.

It is a great model. There are several versions of the Ju-52 included in the Olixsim package, vintage instrumentation, modernized instruments…

…land and float-plane…

…plus three liveries for currently airworthy aircraft of the type. One for the EADS sponsored restoration of a CASA built Ju-52, in Luftwaffe livery…

…one for JU-AIR’s HB-HOP…

…and another for an original Junkers built model, D-AQUI…

Now, this last one is of huge interest for me. Read about it here. That name in there, where it says Early 1957…

“Former Lufthansa pilot Christof Drexel buys her. Conversion in Oslo to wheeled landing gear.”
“Shipped to Ecuador with 20 tonnes of replacement parts.”
“In service with TAO, Transportes Orientales S.A., she flies passengers and cargo out of Quito (altitude 9,186 feet) throughout the Amazon region. Tail sign HC-ABS Amazonas.”
“She stands unused for eight years on the periphery of Quito Airport.”

Yeah. Christof Drexel. Not only is the aircraft interesting because it sat around at the airport where I eventually would do my IR, in 1996. My IR instructor for the course was the grandson of that “former Luft Hansa pilot”. Small world. I, for one, wish this particular aircraft many, many more safe hours in the sky.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for another one of the surviving Ju-52s, of JU-AIR’s, which on the 4th of August this year, crashed, killing all 20 on board. Very tragic news in all senses, and now only seven airworthy examples of the Ju-52 remaining, CASA built examples included.

Okay then, let’s fly it. I choose an historic route for the type, of course. With vintage instrumentation. I am going to take it from Cueta to Cadíz, route of the first major military airlift in aviation history, July to August, 1936, almost immediately in the wake of the Nationalist coup that sparked the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.

But not so fast…


This cockpit is very odd…

There are plumber style cocks all over the place. Unfortunately, the documentation that comes with the module is not all that detailed (and the only documentation I can find on Avialogs is in German, and I do not read that). I am left with a bit of a riddle to solve. I manage to suspect, and later confirm (thanks Google translator) that the aircraft has a compressed air start system.

So, I am rather ashamed to say, I am left to my devices playing with cocks to see what might happen. :flushed:

To boot, the magneto arrangement is strange. It seems the middle position between 1 and 2 is for both, with no OFF, and then there is a separate little lever for ignition timing. The ignition ON/OFF is a button in the middle…

Then there are these “fresh oil” levers (Frischöll?), that have a START position…

I am just glad, at this point, that I was not relying on this Junkers as a bank robbery get away aircraft. The cops would have found a baboon scratching his head in the captain’s seat.

Anyway, After a great deal of experimentation (about an hour), and with reference to the sketchy docs, I finally worked out a procedure flow that accomplishes the objective of getting the engines running. But, before anything else, check the fuel quantity. Okay. Where are the gauges?

…oh, there they are! Of course! Look out of one of the passenger windows. Then go on to the cockpit. Here is the start up flow, now, from cold and dark as loaded, middle engine first…

1). HAUPT-BATTERIE to AN (Main Battery)
2). BLITZ-LICHT to AN (Beacon)
3). KRAFTSTOFF check at ALLE (Tank Selector)
4). EINSPRITZPUMPE to AN (Injector Pump)
6). THROTTLES crack OPEN (first line)
a). Middle Engine, between 1 and 2
b). Left Engine, 1
c). Right Engine, 2
d). All Timing Switches, SPÄT (Retard)
9). FRISCHÖL MIDDLE LEVER to START (the oil lever)
a). Lift the guard on the STARTER
b). Shout “FREI” (I assume)
d). When engine starts and idles…
b). Close the guard

Clear as mud? Okay, maybe that looks easy laid out this way, but with the docs as they were and the confusion with the German, it was a chore to figure out. Now, starting the other two engines is an abbreviated version of that. I still do not get why the docs say the magnetos should be the way they are shown above. The only engine apparently on dual ignition is the middle one. Anyway, if my continued and piecemeal translation of the RL German flight manual reveals anything, I will gladly update the information.

So, the other engines. Here is the flow for the left one, right being the same thing on the respective controls…

1). and 5). MIXTURE (respective engine) LEVER to AUF (down)
2). and 6). FRISCHÖL (respective engine) LEVER to START (the oil lever)
3). and 7). STARTER COCK (respective engine) Operate as before, Guard OPEN and turn Cock down to START
4). and 8). STARTER COCK (respective engine) Operate as before, turn cock up and Guard CLOSED after engine idle

We are good to go. Radios and landing lights are pretty self explanatory, after all that! Let’s make sure those Nationalist troops we are transporting are sitting comfortably, and get this show on the road…

Check and set instruments. Flaps to first notch down, trim set to zero, and taxi lights on. Hold on! What is this?

TWO altimeters? One for 1/10 Km increments, and another for 1 Km increments? You add them up in your head to get the exact altitude? Fine. Nothing like a little intellectual in flight entertainment.

There is no tail wheel lock, like the C-47, so taking off will require some care. Taxi to the threshold, line up, check time and first heading to turn to. Set the ignition timing to FRÜH (advanced), pull the yoke all the way back, release brakes…

Apply power to half throttle, check all three engines picking up together, then advance throttles to 1.2 Bar Manifold Pressure (the old basic superchargers kick in just before 1 Bar). As soon as the power is set, ease off the back pressure on the yoke, and the tail will come up by itself, immediately. At something just over 100 Kmh IAS, it will fly itself off the runway (and with a surprisingly STOL-like roll distance). I find it does the initial climb quite well at something between 140 to 150 Kmh IAS…

This is all most probably not the true IRL procedure, but it is the one I used on the very first flight, and I have not crashed the module yet, so I’ll stick to it.

Maintaining runway heading, and climbing up through 0.15 km AGL, accelerate through 150 Kmh and retract the flaps. Be ready for the nose dropping, it is quite pronounced. Catch it, accelerate to around 165 Kmh, then set the Manifold Pressure to somewhere between 0.95 to 1.1 Bar. Trim for the climb. Turning onto the heading there is some expected adverse yaw to correct as aileron is fed in, but nothing ridiculous. It is a joy of a flight model.

I keep an eye on the oil and cylinder temperatures of those three BMW 9 cylinder radials. The top row of the cocks over on the right panel are the controls for the respective coolers. To enjoy the view of the Moroccan coast on my left, I level off at 1.5 Km, and check the time again. No need to play around with fuel tanks or even mixture settings this low down. Just throttle back to 0.95 Bar, to maintain 230 Kmh, trim for level, and set the ignition timing to SPÄT again. Lights off. Now for some tranquil and enjoyable visual navigation. There is a basic auto pilot that keeps altitude (button on VSI) and heading (crank and button on heading indicator), but I am not inclined to use it…

The top down…

Up around Cape Trafalgar, and north along Andalucía’s western coast towards Cadíz, the haze had started to clear up a bit, and I began the descent. It is easy, just throttle back to 0.76 Bar Manifold Pressure and it will descend itself at 165 Kmh and a ROD of 2 m/s, without any re-trimming. That breakwater there in the distance, that makes Cadíz the harbour it is, points straight to Rota airfield, the other side of the bay to the north…

Over the harbour and the bay, Rota airfield in sight, lights on, and we fly a wide left hand visual pattern for RWY 27. Half flaps set on base leg, full on finals, and the ignition timing to FRÜH again, in case of a go around…

Winds from 200 at 6. I do not take any chances attempting three point landings with a heavy tail dragger, 135 Kmh all the way down finals, and keep a touch of power on up to the windward main-wheel contact. The tail settles on landing as it rose on take off; on its own. Yoke back is only necessary for some gentle braking once the tail wheel plants itself down…

As we all seem to be LOFT’ers here by nature; taxi to the platform it is. Lights off and shut down, not forgetting to set the oil levers back to the engines off position among the more normal chores, and the ignition button out…

Franco will be pleased. According to Spanish sources, during this historic airlift something in the region of the equivalent of 2 divisions of troops were ferried in this way from Morocco to fight for the Nationalist cause. He should erect a monument to the greatness of the Junkers Ju-52!

Thanks all! No apologies this time for the length of the post, I have completely enjoyed myself, for once!


Wonderful write up @Cygon_Parrot ! I might be persuaded to buy it myself in the not too distant future (we seem to have a similar attraction to aircraft of a previous era)…

So, how about taking Iron Annie on a trip to Pago Pago? :wink:


Totally worth the wall o’text! :smiley:


Fantastic write up…! It is planes like that that feed my thirst for quirky ridiculousness. My old flame was the Felis AN-24RV. It had some problems when XP11 came out…not sure if they have been overcome or not.


Great read, @Cygon_Parrot. :slightly_smiling_face:

I was thinking the same thing. :grin:



Ask and you will be given (a translation).


That’s a great review!

I too love the JU-52.
I grew up on my fathers story about one.
Dad was 15yo in 1940, when this story occurs.

During the battle of Narvik, the Germans suffered their first defeat of the war. Things got a bit desperate and they ordered support. A group of 52’s from KGzbV 102 was tasked with the mission to bring the Gebirgsbatterie 2 into the fray. On the 12th of April 1940, they set out from Berlin, via Aalborg in Denmark, Oslo in Norway and Narvik.
The frontline moved so rapidly in Narvik, that they departed Oslo without knowing where they could land. They were to make contact with local troops as they arrived, and agree on a landing ground.
This happened to be the ice covered lake Hartvigvann, outside Narvik. As it happens, the Ice was covered in a couple of feet of snow, and several aircraft dug in their wheels and nosed over.
During the following days they were attacked by aircraft from the Norwegian Airforce and from the H.M.S Furious.
The germans were able to transfer fuel from the damaged Junkers and set up two JU-52’s for departure.
On the 17th of April, JU-52 Werk nr. 6664, designation SE+KC, departed lake Hartvigvann for Oslo.
The takeoff was anything but easy since the ice was now covered in slush, and full of holes…
JU-52 DB+RC was supposed to depart as no. two, but after watching SE+KC depart, they cancelled their flight.
SE+KC got lost on their way southward, and ended up in Sweden. The fuel situation got critical, and they landed on a field, a couple of miles from where my dad lived. The crew was arrested and the aircraft was flown out with a Swedish crew.
Dad and friends, being 15 years of age, all found this very exciting. The war was suddenly upon them!
The kids rode their bikes to see the Junker, and help collecting tree branches which were used to reinforce the soft and sodden field.

Sweden was a safe haven for many foreign aircraft, during the war. There’s a great site called Forced Landing Collection that lists all of them.
Here’s what their research has uncovered about the above. Unfortunately it’s in swedish, but I guess google translate can help.

Here’s one of the Junkers that landed at lake Hartvigvann, now restored and on display at the Airforce aircraft collection at Gardermoen (OSL/ENGM).

Incidentally, that aircraft collection houses another link to my dad. One of the SG-38 Schulgleiter aircraft that he flew when he got his Glider training at Ålleberg, in Sweden in 1944, now hangs from the ceiling. It was later sold to Norway.

Here’s a dive on one of the Junkers at Hartvigvann.


We want both, front page article and Pago Pago report :slight_smile:


Have you tried the Ju-52 in IL-2 Great Battles?


I enjoyed the heck out of that. Thanks!

Jeff Skiles (Sully’s FO) wrote a two-part article about flying the Ju-52 including, if I recall correctly, a flight across the Atlantic.


Why isn’t there a link to that article…?
I need to read that.



That’s just it. Jeff was, in my most humble opinion, by far the best writer the EAA ever had on its staff. He is a true pilot’s writer–like St. Exupery. But his articles are buried in the EAA Sport Aviation archive. I would need to know the magazine date. This is the second time this has happened to me on this forum. The last time was the Mudspike article on the old “AN” ranges. Jeff also wrote about them. Nope…couldn’t find it. The internets has its limits.


I can safely say it is a good model, indeed. Full of the character you would expect from the aircraft of the time, and done with some care and attention to detail. It seems to be getting some updates along the way, too, so we might even see some further refinements. As it is, it is so enjoyable from a technical point of view that I was ready to rate it up there with PMDG’s DC-6. I was much more intrigued than frustrated at the fact I could not get it started immediately upon loading it up. A module that gives you a tangible experience, for sure, though I may have blunted that experience a tad now, for some, by posting that flow chart!

I would certainly have included this one in the plans for the trip, along with a couple of others, one of which will be subject of another, briefer review, right here. I might be able to start a trip, but very doubtful that I could keep any continuity. At the moment, I am as busy as I have been on only one other occasion in my existence, 15 years ago. The above rant of mine was written as an “unwind mechanism”, over two evenings. Still, if I get a chance to start the voyage, at least, who knows? :slight_smile:

Thanks @sobek! I probably will have a question or two, very soon!

That was an amazing story! I always love hearing or reading these sort of accounts. I’m reasonably familiar with the Norwegian campaign, from study; the one theater where both sides believed they had effected a military fiasco, at some stage or another. It had the direct effect, however, of loosing Winston Churchill his Admiralty job, through failure, and then moving on to become Prime Minister. Huh? How did that work? Politics… :roll_eyes:

The links and video are great. Those taps are indeed there, in that shot of the cockpit. To anyone who might have witnessed it, the aircraft breaking through the melting ice and sinking must have been quite a moment. And the glider is almost identical to the Primaries that were once used for the RAF Cadets. Great stuff!

Never played that simulator, strangely enough…

Could it have been the very one, D-AQUI?

December, 1984:
“8000 km flight transferring her from Opa Locka, Florida, via Labrador, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland and England to Hamburg.”

I suddenly, really need to know this. It is interesting…:smiley:

Thanks all!


I used to live in area below the final approach to Berlin Tempelhof Airport (when it was still active). D-AQUI was a regular sight from my balcony together with a DC-3 “Rosinenbomber”. I always loved their sounds.


I lived there too! Wiesbadener str. In 2006-7. :slight_smile:
Actually, the wife was on exchange to the tech. uni. So she lived there. I was only visiting.
I remember hearing a lot of pistons one day. Looked out and saw the Rosinenbomber low over the houses :heart_eyes:
Beautiful airfield! Too bad they shut it down.


So, here is why I called this thread what I did.

I could go into the particular subject of this X-Plane flight and off hand review at great length. I would like to, as I am as much an enthusiast of the type as I am of the Ju-52. However, to not create a mile long post (I feel it will be long enough without a huge introduction), I will point anyone interested enough at a great book about it, The Saga of the Tin Goose

Indeed, highly recommended for anyone interested in the early, heady days of the birth of the airline industry. Not every aircraft type has a book written specifically for it, but for those that have, this is one that fully deserves one.

Can’t resist posting this shot. It is from a great gallery that I will post the link to soon enough. Almost without a doubt, it is Arequipa, Peru. That volcano is Misti, which I have posted a personal shot of the crater over on another thread, once. But what I love about this picture is that vicuña in the middle…

It deserves the book not because it was a great aircraft in technical terms. Many improved, innovative, and more efficient solutions to flight were being experimented with simultaneously as the Trimotor was being developed. Not because it was even original. Many a concept was “borrowed” from Fokker and Junkers by William Bushnell Stout, its designer, in the creation of the Trimotor. Further to that, it was not even built by the company that created it until that company, Stout Metal Airplanes, was taken over by Ford. Not because it contributed for decades to its original mission, in huge numbers. It was roundly made obsolete within a few of years of its first and only production run of just under 200 aircraft. Yet examples of it soldiered on around the world, after it was relegated from its primary service, doing there what it had done in its home country. Launch airlines and build up faith in civil air travel.


Some further reading about William Bushnell Stout, quite typical of an early 20th Century unharnessed, wayward genius, here. (Note the bit about his claimed relation to the inventor of the Turtle).

This aircraft deserves a book because of its legacy. It boldly harnessed and combined those already developed “components” that could make a relatively safe and durable aircraft, and took aviation forward a necessary step from dangerous novelty to functionality. And also, let us not forget, because it was the first over the South Pole (reminding me of the Christmas trip two years ago).

Here is the X-Plane release of it…


I actually got this one a few weeks before I got the Junkers Ju-52 I raved about at the beginning of this thread. So why did I not start the thread with it? Well, it is not as faithfully reproduced as the Junkers.

Now, before you say “oh, forget it, then”, this does not mean it is not a very good add on. In many ways it is great and enchanting, and I will go into that in a moment. The detractors, for me, are small fry indeed, and have not stopped me from enjoying it very much when I have flown the module. Critical as we are, though, let us first ask, what are these small detractors?

  1. A small, additional pop up “co-pilot” panel. On it, some data and controls, that are available spread around the place as on the original aircraft, are collected onto a small panel which can be hidden or shown. Here it is…

Most of the associated controls and data can be found and operated from their originals locations, as well as from this panel (which saves the module, from a systems point of view), except the fuel tank selection. The fuel cocks in their original locations are inoperative, and must be managed from the co-pilot panel.

  1. The engine starting procedure is somewhat “modernized” from that which can be appreciated in the original Ford Trimotor Instructions Manual (find that manual at Avialogs, by the way. It is the equivalent of an FCOM, AFM and AMM all in one, and a joy to read!).

  2. Most importantly, the aircraft’s performance is a little bit in excess of the original’s book values. There is a reason for this slight anomaly, actually, and I will come to that soon, in due course, but not on this post. However, it is not all that far off, and the 10 to 15 extra knots in cruise helps with getting long distance flights over with a little quicker, without detracting from the classic feel of the aircraft all that much. What is notable and a little bit confounding is the resulting fighter-like climb performance.

I’m glad I got that out of the way. We can fly it, now.

So, here it is at Salinas, SESA, Ecuador. This is my first flight for the Mudspike Christmas challenge, the story behind which will be on the corresponding thread soon enough. Let us see how far I get with that.

I’ll exude my praises and criticisms of the module here on the quiet, out of the spot light thread, though…

It is a fantastic 3D model. Those control horns are animated…

The baggage compartments open, and so does the toilet door…

The interior is convincing, and with the lamps and curtains, quite captures the atmosphere of the era…

A view of the right engine out of a passenger window…

And onto the cockpit. Those red handles are the inoperative fuel cooks. However, the trim handle and indicator do work, as do the pull out carb heat handles for the left and right engine, and the fuel level windows for the tanks…

The virtual cockpit is very nice indeed. Sparse in instrumentation (good to practice some partial panel on, if maintaining VMC becomes impossible), with steering wheel type yokes and the Ford logo. Now, I might complain a bit about the VOR units and transponder, but I imagine they are useful to those who fly it on that Vatsim thing, or another. I will not be using the VORs, in any case…

The lever coming up out of the floor is the “Johnny brake”, as on the original aircraft, and the other lever ahead of it is the carb heat for the fuselage mounted engine.

The outboard engines instruments mounted on the strut…

Checking them with VR, I imagine, is easier. I have to use the preset views with num-keys 7 and 9 in quick succession during the take off, however.

For reasons that will be clearer on the Christmas Flight thread, I will be taking it north up the coast to Manta, SEMT. A short hop, to start off, really…

So, close all doors and start up. Much simpler that the Ju-52. All the electrical (the grand total of 4) switches are on the left side of the co-pilot’s seat, down near the floor, behind a guard bar…

There is nothing hard about starting it…

We are ready! Landing lights ON, line up, and check the compass heading. Get the center-line between the gap between the two cylinders right in front of you…

From there, pretty standard tail dragger take off, and you have to pick the tail up positively with this one, unlike the Junkers Ju-52. Almost immediately, going through 75 mph, very gentle back pressure will have you airborne…

I accelerated to 95 mph for the climb, throttled back slightly to around 1,900 rpm, trimmed, and turned north to 015º…

Negligible winds this evening, and a well known part of the world, I was not too worried with a nav log, apart from calculating the time en-route and checking take off time. We climb to 2,000 ft, just under the overcast, and settled down to cruise at 125 mph, to be realistic…

Then enjoyed an external view…

No autopilot. I love it! There is, of course, a slight tendency to left turn, but there is a solution. Select and use the left fuel tank. Soon enough, the slight dis-balance counters the tendency. I just have to remember, simply out of good practice, to select the right tank to level up, an equal time of left tank usage before the ETA. The lowering cloud base forced me down to 1,500 ft to maintain VMC, and even then, strict compliance with legal vertical separation was questionable…

But the flight was great. I cannot get enough of the outside views…

At one stage, I hit one of the view keys and got this…

Huh? Anyway, I did not know where it might be, so I continued without looking for it…

Arriving eventually in the vicinity of Manta, I had to do the old 60º left, 60º right, then add the time on one of the 60º degree tracks to the ETA trick, to avoid an elevation…

But did not have to complete the maneuver, as Manta airfield sprang into view through the haze as I was turning to the second leg. I set up down wind and got the altimeter setting off 118.7…

Turned to base with the town of Crucita behind (where, incidentally, one of our commanders just retired to a couple of months ago, after his 65th birthday). Some correction for a slight cross wind on finals…

And on the aiming point, satisfactorily…

Off to the terminal, which is not like shown here anymore, IRL. It was demolished in an earthquake a couple of years ago. There is a temporary building, with plans for a new terminal that does not seem to be coming to fruition (maybe I should get Sketchup and WED out and do something about this scenery. Time is the thing.). Shut down…

I fully enjoyed that!

226 lbs used over 77 nm in 45 minutes of flight time. With a total load of 1,023 lbs of fuel, that gives us more or less a theoretical range of around 710 nm, at around 2,000 ft AMSL. That is a little optimistic, for book values.

That is the end of this post. There will be another one, soon, that gets to the nitty-gritty of something. For now, that is all I have time for.


The Official 4th Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight - 2018 Edition

Beautiful airplane and great trip report…! Funny seeing that carrier pop up in one of the views. Great tip on the uneven fuel tank burn to trim out the turning tendency…!


Another corrugated plate three engine…!
I like your style, @Cygon_Parrot. :slight_smile:


Interesting read! I always sort of presumed that the Ford Trimotor was a license build Fokker 7 since they look alike so very much!

Also, Fokker loved licensing out his aircraft.


Nice read. :slightly_smiling_face:

That looks a nice model and great fun to fly.

This is my first flight for the Mudspike Christmas challenge