Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Misc. Forums > Aviation History and Nostalgia
Reload this Page >

Old "Props" and Long Sectors

Aviation History and Nostalgia Whether working in aviation, retired, wannabee or just plain fascinated this forum welcomes all with a love of flight.

Old "Props" and Long Sectors

Old 1st Apr 2007, 18:59
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Teesside
Posts: 503
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Old "Props" and Long Sectors

Folks,

I read elsewhere of a regular US-Far East non-stop of 17 hours.

I seem to recall that, in the brief, pre-jet period of L1649/DC7C "front line" operation on the North Atlantic, that non-stops of over twenty hours were not uncommon, these "ultimate recips." having exceptional range, but not speed.

Did I read that a particular US West Coast-Paris flight was almost 24 hours? TWA and a Super Constellation?

I'd be fascinated to hear what crew, technical and "passenger comfort" issues were raised by these largely-forgotten "long hauls".

r
Midland 331 is offline  
Old 1st Apr 2007, 21:27
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: glasgow
Posts: 379
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Can I also mention the wartime QANTAS Catalina service from Ceylon to Perth.This often involved over 30 hours in the air at 127mph.
renfrew is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2007, 07:44
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: UK/Philippines/Italy
Age: 72
Posts: 557
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Certainly not the longest sectors but must count as the longest scheduled journeys of the time were the flights performed by Pan Amís China Clippers. San Francisco to Manila in 6 days with nearly 60 hrs flying time stopping at Honolulu, Midway, Guam; if nothing else a great feat of navigation.
larssnowpharter is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2007, 11:59
  #4 (permalink)  

A Runyonesque Character
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: The South of France ... Not
Age: 74
Posts: 1,209
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
1958 Summer schedule

TW751 L-1649 dep PAR 2100 arr SFO 1055 = 21h55m
PA127 DC7C dep PAR 2359 arr LAX 1355 = 21h55m

About 2hr quicker Eastbound.
The SSK is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2007, 12:30
  #5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Teesside
Posts: 503
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks.

And no film or multi-channel IFE, just a days' worth of Wright Turbo Compunds (providing they kept going)

I understand that that power plant was famous for it's particularly long exhaust flame...

r
Midland 331 is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2007, 02:58
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 8,571
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That exhaust flame got REALLY long when a PRT went TU....
About twenty feet long, or more.
An interesting sight.
411A is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2007, 11:04
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: England
Posts: 118
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
These days long overwater flights are routinely operated by 4, 3 and with ETOPS rules, 2 engined jet aircraft. In the days of piston props over the ocean however, what regulatory restrictions were placed on the above flights in terms of sector times, engine reliability, diversion airfields, crew duty hours, etc?
primreamer is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2007, 11:55
  #8 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Teesside
Posts: 503
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
...and, of course, no INS...

When SAS started their trans-polar flights with DC7-Cs, they were right on the edge of aeronautical navigational skills, so I understand. The precise details escape me, but I seem to recall special grid-map charts and difficulties in using celestial navigation.

r
Midland 331 is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2007, 01:25
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 8,571
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Astro navigation is suitable for high latitude flying, and yes, grid nav was used, as the compass is not all that reliable.

As for aircraft restrictions, all were four engine types, and the only problem (other than excessive oil consumption) was descending if a powerplant failed (driftdown) or a pressurisation failure.
In addition, all cargo compartments had to be either class C or D.
Longer flights carried two crews.
411A is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2007, 16:12
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Limbricht
Posts: 2,184
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
The SSK, You may well be right but I'm not entirely sure that these ORY-LAX flights were truly non-stop. A scheduled fuel stop did not always feature in timetables.
Avman is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2007, 16:32
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Stockport MAN/EGCC
Age: 69
Posts: 991
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Could someone please advise me on the normal cruising levels used on these flights, eastbound and westbound.
Thanks in anticipation
Be lucky
David
The AvgasDinosaur is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2007, 20:47
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Limbricht
Posts: 2,184
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I guess it would have stepped up as fuel was burnt. Probably starting around FL170 and ending up around the FL210-230 mark. I remember cruising at around FL210 on SABENA DC-7s between Brussels and Madrid, but that wasn't a heavy oceanic flight of course.
Avman is offline  
Old 6th Apr 2007, 06:35
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 8,571
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Long ago...

Yes, sometimes enroute fuel stops were made, however, the record for non-stop piston ops was a TWA 1649A-98 Constellation, ORY-SFO.
Time enroute, nonstop....23 hours 10 minutes.
Keep in mind that this aircraft type, which yours truly has flown previously, was fitted with a fuselage oil tank, from which each engine's oil tank could be replentished.
In addition, it carried 9,835 US gallons of 115/145 aviation gasoline, which was also a record for a civil piston type.
It cruised at 315 KTAS, consumed 390 USGallons of fuel/hr...and if you were lucky, did not run out of oil prior to the destination.
It had a port in the fuselage top for astro navigation, and these long range flights absolutely carried a Navigator, who was truly proficient at pressure pattern navigation...which ain't easy, at least from my perspective.
My personal record in this rather unique aeroplane, 16 hours, 42 minutes, HNL-TPE.
Cruising levels.
A heavy 1649 Constellation or DC-7C would normally not get above 14,000 feet initially, for the first two hours.
As weight decreased, the aircraft could then climb higher.
Blowers (engine superchargers) were shifted to high at 13,000 feet, and a long oceanic flight would end up at flight level 210/220 eventually.
It should be noted that with these piston engine airliners, fuel consumption did not normally decrease with altitude however, the true airspeed DID increase.
These engines were always cruised at a constant power setting, usually on the order of 45 to 50% BHP, using the lowest suitable RPM.
Engine mixtures were set to auto-lean, and BMEP power recovery was used, to enhance lean of peak operation.

Last edited by 411A; 6th Apr 2007 at 06:45.
411A is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2007, 08:56
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Beautiful Youtube footage of the Breitling connie

Something to set the mood as you read through these posts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Llsk7tqbjhw

allyn is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2007, 00:20
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 7,481
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
I too have understood that these 20-hour nonstop schedules from Europe to California actually featured an unadvertised refuelling stop, not shown in the timetable, at Winnipeg. The SAS DC-7C from Copenhagen to Seattle would stop at Sondrestrom in Greenland.

Regarding the SAS trans-polar flights which were pioneers on those routings, the problem that had to be overcome was that at certain times of the year, with no other radio navaids available, celestial navigation at high latitude at certain times of the year was not posible because the sun stayed just below the horizon for many hours, out of sight, but the sky was still bright enough that stars were not visible. There was a patented optical instrument developed which finally overcame this problem and allowed the flights to start, seemingly by allowing an accurate interpolation of the sun's position beneath the horizon. I bet close proximity to magnetic north also compounded any discrepancies. There was detail about it all in a Propliner article on the SAS DC-7C trans-polar operation some years ago, sorry I don't have the time to go through all the back issues.
WHBM is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2007, 01:17
  #16 (permalink)  
Cunning Artificer
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: The spiritual home of DeHavilland
Age: 76
Posts: 3,127
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Regarding high latitude navigation. With two gyro compasses fitted there is no problem with polar flying. Gyro compass drift rates are montoired alternately during the north bound leg until passing 80 N when the magnetic coupling to both is switched off. The gyros are then corrected for the recorded drift rate every fifteen minutes until passing 80 N southbound again. RAF Britannias used the method on the aero-systems training courses well into the 1970s.
Blacksheep is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2007, 16:55
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Estonia
Posts: 834
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As of now, the FAR 121.161 reads

no certificate holder may operate two-engine or
three-engine airplanes (except a three-engine turbine powered airplane)
over a route that contains a point farther than 1 hour flying time (in
still air at normal cruising speed with one engine inoperative) from an
adequate airport.
So, 3 engine piston props were forbidden from long flights (But the wording of rule suggests that turbine-powered turboprops with 3 engines are allowed long flights... the only turboprop trimotor is Trislander, and does it have range for 2 hours?).

No language forbids 6 engine piston powered planes, but though B-36 was mass produced and XC-99 flew, Convair 37 did not enter service.

Now, Boeing 377 was not required to survive 2 engines out of 4. There was a famous incident where a 377 did lose 2 engines on crossing to Hawaii. It remained airborne, but with increased fuel burn, they had no hope of reaching land. What they did was find out by radio that there was a coast guard ship somewhere in the middle of ocean, then they flew there and I think burned off some more fuel, and ditched in midocean. The fuselage broke apart on ditching; but the captain had feared it would happen, and moved passengers so they all stayed in one piece and unhurt. Then they were picked up by the ship with no injuries.

As for passenger comfort, some propliners featured lower and upper sleeping berths.
chornedsnorkack is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2007, 18:07
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Nottingham UK
Age: 84
Posts: 5,575
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
chornedsnorkack

This the one?
MReyn24050 is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2007, 20:19
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 7,481
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
The Trislander is a piston-engined aircraft; I cannot recall any three-engined turboprops at all.

The French Latecoere 631 flying boat had 6 (P&W R2800) engines.

That ditching is spectacular. They were fortunate that it was calm. I wonder if the skipper was ex-Pan Am flying boats, could well have been.
WHBM is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2007, 22:31
  #20 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Too close to Croydon for comfort
Age: 59
Posts: 11,802
Received 41 Likes on 26 Posts
I can think of but one WHBM - the Tri-Turbo-Three, Jack Conroy's much-modded DC-3 which turned up at Farnborough one year.



(Thanks to Goleta Air and Sapce Museums excellent website!)
treadigraph is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.