As you already know I am involved in a restoration project of a Douglas C-47 in the Portuguese Air Museum and the days of restoration start with the picking up of the trolleys with all the needed materials and tools to do the job, this tools are kept at the very end of the museum so I have to pass through all the rooms and all the birds that are exposed in the interior.
Filipe Cardoso 2010
One particular bird always fascinated Me. Not for its capabilities or rarity but because of its mission. This machine is an old Beechcraft Bonanza F33A owned by Captain António Faria e Mello, wheelchair aviator and 2 times earthrounder in that condition.
Filipe Cardoso 2010
Captain Faria e Mello was a regular pilot with a notable career in the Portuguese Air Force and the Portuguese Flagship Airline TAP for many years until a surgery to the spine drag him to a wheelchair. But Faria e Mello didn't stopped there and made contacts with other pilots and associations specially in the US and finally got its Bonanza that after the adaptations required and a bit of TLC was ready for it's new Captain.
Captain Faria e Mello - from: www.asasdateimosia.com.pt
Earthrounding is not a new thing and the number of pilots who take this adventure doesn't stop increasing and with the most amazing aircraft such as Autogyros or helicopters, of course the normal single or dual engine piston or turboprops are still the most used. Normally Earthrounders gather each year in a new location and this year will be in Russia in May. Their website is http://www.earthrounders.com/ and in there you get access to several information about earthrounding and a list of those who already made the voyage.
My virtual project is like a dual mission, first a tribute to Captain Faria e Mello and then a tribute to the Douglas Dakota. In order to do that I went to Faria e Mello's website and got the route that he made on his second earthround and second picked up a FSX Douglas Dakota, in this case the "Gooney Bird" DC-3TP from South Africa to complete the mission.
Why the turboprop version? Well fuel consumption is an issue on this flights and the turboprop version comes with two additional wing tanks that compensate the bigger fuel consumption by the PT6 engines.
For now my new FSX mission took me from Cascais, Portugal to Heraklion, Greece and Djibouti city, Djibouti. Hope you enjoy the pics.