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-   -   Tracey Curtis-Taylor (Merged threads) (https://www.pprune.org/private-flying/579030-tracey-curtis-taylor-merged-threads.html)

Mike Flynn 29th Jun 2016 10:36

I agree the raft could be carried by the chase plane.

However I doubt they carried fuel as Avgas is available everywhere in that part of the world.

The question is where would you put any additional fuel tanks on the Stearman to extend the range? Had she flown solo a ferry tank could have gone in the front seat but the ABC video shows two on board when it landed in Darwin.

Planemike 29th Jun 2016 11:06

Originally Posted by Jay Sata (Post 9424306)
The question is where would you put any additional fuel tanks on the Stearman to extend the range? Had she flown solo a ferry tank could have gone in the front seat but the ABC video shows two on board when it landed in Darwin.

In flight refuelling....?!!!! :D:D

Stanwell 29th Jun 2016 11:38

Thanks for the Plane & Pilot specs and your calculations, abdg.
Specs for Stearmans seem to vary - depending on where you look.
This, of course, is just an academic exercise and without the proper specs for Ewald's Stearman, we can only speculate.

Despite TCT's claims that the 'Spirit of Artifice' is original, it strikes me that it is really closer to one of Ewalds's "Super Stearmans" - just minus
the upper-wing ailerons.
As to where the additional tankage might be placed, it strikes me that, in order to keep the CG within reasonable limits, the extra 35 or so gallons
would have to be contained within the inner wings - both top and bottom.
Any other ideas?

abgd 29th Jun 2016 11:56

Under the seat? If TCT is light, immediately behind her seat?

You can get a fair amount of fuel in a small space - 120 litres is 50cm cubed

deefer dog 29th Jun 2016 12:12

The Stearman « The Aviatrix

During the ground up restoration of this airplane a number of modifications and improvements had been installed to cope with the special challenges of this adventurous trip. To cover the long distances across Africa this airplane was fitted with two additional fuel tanks, doubling the range of the airplane.

Mike Flynn 29th Jun 2016 12:13

Would the two tanks go in the rear lockers?

I like the caption to this picture from a Seattle newspaper.

Ewald Gritsch, an Austrian engineer who helped restore Tracey Curtis-Taylor's 1942 Boeing Stearman, grabs bolts while reassembling the plane at the Historic Flight Foundation in Mukilteo, Friday, Mar. 18, 2016. Gritsch has tagged along on Curtis-Taylor's flights all over the world, performing maintenance, repair, and reassembling the plane when it's shipped, as it was to Mukilteo.
No mention of his front seat role.

Stanwell 29th Jun 2016 12:29

I'd reckon the rear locker would be pretty full with all of Tracey's make-up kit.

Mike Flynn 29th Jun 2016 12:35

I had a couple of amusing quotes from Tracey emailed to me today which pretty much endorse that quip Stanwell. I can't use them yet.

Thanks for highlighting the extra tanks and double fuel range Deefer. That contradicts what she said on the BBC Radio 4 Midweek programme a fornight ago. She claimed Amy Johnson's DH had double the fuel range of the Spirit of Artemis.

Stanwell 29th Jun 2016 12:45

I don't have the figures to hand, but Amy Johnson's DH-60 did some pretty long hops - and, it had only a 100hp Gipsy to feed.
Besides, regular 'comfort stops' would be more Tracey's style, I'd think.

Mike Flynn 29th Jun 2016 12:59

I have just managed to find this from Amy Johnson's log book that confirms what you say Stanwell.
It must have been hard work and look how inexperienced she was.
Less than 100 hours when she left the UK. Could any man or woman match her achievment in a similar aircraft today?

papa_sierra 29th Jun 2016 13:07

As the Stearman is N registered there must be an STC for any modifications that would entail extra fuel carriage. The STC listings are here - http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Gu...e?OpenFrameSet
A bit of searching will provide the answer.

abgd 29th Jun 2016 13:42

Amy Johnson's longest leg was apparently 675 nautical miles so it's possible that even with the extra tanks, the Stearman had half her range.

Danny42C 29th Jun 2016 18:46

Jay Sata (#558)

...I am not an engineer so how could you increase the range given the extra weight of the fuel required to have a margin for headwinds and weather?...
There was an apocryphal story going the rounds in India; when I got there at the end of '42, to the effect that there had been an attempt to fit the Vultee Vengeance with locally designed and made long range tanks for attachment under the wings.

But the extra weight and drag from these rough and ready things was so great that the aircraft got no further with them than it did without them ! - you just used a lot more fuel for the same distance. Back to the drawing board !

Wouldn't swear to the story.


Very interesting ! Any chance to see TCT's Log for her trip ? And who countersigned it ?


Mike Flynn 29th Jun 2016 21:43

I can't help you with the TCT log but I have seen some flight plans that cite two crew.

I also heard a saying she used a number of times.

“I think Lady Heath had it much easier than me on this trip”

megan 30th Jun 2016 14:35

Less than 100 hours when she left the UK. Could any man or woman match her achievment in a similar aircraft today
Unable to find any web info at the moment Jay, but an Aussie with about 150 hours, sans instrument rating, flew VMC around the world (unlike TCT, even the watery bits) in a MustangII homebuilt. Damn good effort in my book.

DeltaV 1st Jul 2016 06:39

This? Australia to Oshkosh '99

Mike Flynn 1st Jul 2016 08:51

Many thanks for that link.

I have just read his fascinating story.
Just three years flying experience and 250 hours logged when he embarked on his adventure.

It took Ike Bartlett 155 hours flying time to go around the world in his Mustang II during the summer of 1999. By himself he crossed the Pacific going from southeast to northwest through Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands, Midway, and up the Aleutian Islands. He crossed the Atlantic in much shorter, easier legs from Newfoundland, to Greenland, Iceland, and into Europe. From there he flew through Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and then on to Asia. From India he flew to Indonesia and then turned south, finally returning to Western Australia. Crossing the Pacific he faced the difficulties of very long flights over open water and in the second part of his trip through Europe and Asia he faced political boundaries that prevent an easy direct flight. All of this he did with only three years flying experience and without an IFR rating.
Unlike drama queen TCT Ike faced some genuine challenges.

On July 19th, 1999 Ike left Perth and started east across the Australian continent for Queensland and the northeast coast. This leg alone was well over 2000 miles. He made his first night landing in his Mustang at Tennent Creek in the Northern Territories. This is in the center of Australia. The next day he landed at Horn Island Resort in the Torres Straight, North Queensland and prepared for his first overwater leg. On the 21st he departed Australia and crossed Papua New Guinea at 12,500 feet to get over the mountains. After refueling he then flew 13 hours over water to Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Most of his flying was below 10,000 feet at 50-60% power for best fuel economy. With 9 hours to go before reaching the Majuro Atoll his voltage regulator failed. This left him with a handheld radio and his battery powered GPS.

"The GPS batteries died at 30 miles out, just when I needed it most. I had been flying at 9,000 feet when I approached a great wall of cloud. I had been able to go around the rest, but not this one. I descended to 2,000 feet and tried to go under it, but the base just kept getting lower and lower. At 800 feet I was in rain but could see the water below and then it was gone. MMC became IFR without electric's. Me not being real happy at 800 feet, I climbed to 2,500 feet. As a virgin cloud flyer, I kept MMC basically level but had changed direction 30 degrees. After correcting that, I broke out of the clouds and there was the atoll. That was the worst bit of flying I have ever experienced. I really thought about putting MMC in a box and shipping it home. My handheld radio is not connected through the headset, so the guy at the tower must have thought I was a raving lunatic. I was yelling to speak over the noise of the engine and he had to say everything three or four times. I was shaken, but once on the ground I just focused on sorting out the electrical fault.
Well worth reading.

Planemike 1st Jul 2016 08:58

What experience and qualifications did Clive Canning have when he flew his Thorpe T-18 VH-CMC to the PFA Rally in 1976, (gosh 40 years ago!!!)? Did he fly back to Australia? The PFA honoured him, quite rightly so, no controversy over that award!!

Mike Flynn 1st Jul 2016 10:01

I can't find much on Clive Canning but of course like many of these unsung genuine adventure flyers they did their trips for personal achievment not false glory.

Australian Jon Johanson is worth a mention.He has achieved what no other homebuilder has. He flew around the world, not once, but three times in 1995, 1996, and 2000 in an RV4

In 2003 he made the first solo flight in a single-engine home-built aircraft over the South Pole. However after landing at the McMurdo Scott station he became stranded when the base, not wishing to encourage future private flights, refused to sell him fuel.After a fuel donation by Polly Vacher , he was able to fly on to Australia, via New Zealand.

Stranded adventurer offered three flights home - www.smh.com.au

treadigraph 1st Jul 2016 13:02

Clive Canning published a book "Charlie Mike Charlie" about his exploits in the T-18... I was thinking about buying a second hand copy recently, but it was slightly too expensive for my wallet!

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