It is a beautiful morning in Tehran. Getting the plane ready for our flight to Sochi, Russia and beyond today.
Climbing out over Tehran.
Up to FL200 today to get over the mountains.
Up and away, Junior Birdmen…Man, these are some big mountains to clear…
Cruising at FL200 and 250 knots over the ground. The Alborz range just followed us right up. Pretty day with a few clouds over the Caspian Sea.
Just south of Rasht, Iran and the Caspian Sea.
The best views of the Caspian Sea that we are going to have today. Shortly we will be back over the mountains of Azerbijan and Georgia.
Distinctive peak in northwestern Iran. I think this must be Sabalan.
Crossing the border between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. I’d never even heard of the later until today–probably because it is a disputed region.
Flying over a small volcano?
Back in the soup as we are about to cross into Georgia. More embedded thunderstorms.
In the clear for a few moments.
Mountains between us and the Black Sea.
Starting the descent through embedded thunderstorm cells.
Snowcapped peaks in the distance. The tall one on the right is Mt. Elbrus.
Passing over Sokhumi, Russia on the Black Sea.
The mountains come right down to the sea.
Pitsunda, Russia. They seem to have some nice beaches on the Black Sea.
The Bzyp River.
On final, RWY 06, URSS.
About to be wheels down in Sochi.
Welcome to Sochi International Airport (URSS), Sochi Russia.
Looking west, back towards the sea.
Looking east towards Krasnya Polyana. I’m not sure if we can see it from here, but it is up there somewhere.
Departing Sochi for Simferopol. The latter isn’t included in my Navigraph navdata, presumably because Russia annexed the Ukraine and URFF is no longer considered an international airport. Fortunately, we’ve got blue skies so it will be easy enough just to follow the coast line. Ideally we will pick up the VOR and/or the NDB as we get closer. If not, we’ll have to resort to pilotage. And hey, since we are VFR anyway, we might as well do a loop around Sevastopol while we are at it and check out the Russian naval base.
Crossing the Black Sea.
Water reflections on the coast.
Sevastopol Naval base.
Wide view of Sevastopol.
Landing at Simferopol Airport.
Simferopol Airport, Russia (URSS).
Couldn’t resist a shot of the Russian helicopters on the apron.
While waiting for the engines to warm up, I discovered a completely separate terminal area on the other side of the airport.
So long Simferopol.
Northbound to Moscow!
Approaching the Kakhovka Reservoir.
The Dnipro. Not sure if it is a river or a reservoir.
Dnipro, city of.
Looks like we may get wet.
Gray day 100 nm south of Moscow.
Even grayer now that we have disappeared into the soup.
Back below the overcast now. At 5,000’ and 43 nm from the IAF.
Moscow in sight!
Downtown, but I want to see the Kremlin…
Somewhere over Moscow…
Touching down at Sheremetyevo.
The sign on the jetway says it all.
Moscow-Sheremetyevo (UUEE), Moscow Russia.
They’ve even got a Radisson hotel here.
Not to mention a Holiday Inn Express. Who knew?
Aeroflot is getting a pushback; that is a nice touch.
Would love to go check out the other terminal, but it would take far to long to get over there with the drone camera.
Strolling through the departure lounge.
Going to stop duty free before we head into town. I wish the drone camera bug introduced in SU5 was fixed so I could move through this airport at a reasonable speed. There is so much to explore here. As for Moscow, I think we are going to have to visit one of the smaller airports and rent a smaller plane to go explore the city with.
We took a taxi to Ostafyevo Airport (UUMO) and we were able to rent an airplane. As fate would have it, a Stearman was available! As a result, we did a first class beat-up job on Moscow and probably started an international incident in the process. Then again, we were probably too low to show up on radar, so maybe they don’t know who we are yet.
Heading downtown to get into some trouble.
Buzzing one of the Seven Sisters. I think this is Moscow State University.
Yes, we were hedge hopping our way through Moscow and allegedly we flew under some bridges.
And immediately pulled up into a loop. I didn’t try to finish the bottom under the bridge though–I’m not completely crazy!
Church of the Twelve Apostles.
We found the Kremlin!
Putting on an airshow for President Putin. Hopefully he appreciated it. If not, we are definitely going to prison if they catch us!
Rolling onto the knife edge with Ivan the Great tower in the background.
Low pass by St. Basil’s Cathedral
Threading the needle in the City of Capitals. How we have avoided a MIG escort up to this point, I do not know…
Rounding the Ostankino tower.
Hanging on the prop.
Into a hammerhead turn.
A little downtown knife-edge tail waggle.
One last loop over the Kremlin for good measure.
Staying low as we make our way down the Moskva River and out of town.
Easy does it touching down back at Ostafyevo Airport.
Wheel landing, so we are still flying.
Setting the tail wheel down and applying the brakes.
Switches off. Time to flee to our hotel room at the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya and hope nobody comes banging on our door in the middle of the night!
The DC6 is an awesome piece of air craft engineering, and amazingly easy to fly, complicated to all buggary to get going but very easy to fly, purchased myn yesterday and im very very pleased with it, i plan on doing a similar trip in myn
Great photos of your trip
Just a suggestion: post pics of your fight plan, e.g. Little Navmap, as well? Keep going!
Thanks for the suggestion. I added a link to my Sky Vector flight plan in the first post.
Wow, that it is an astonishing flight plan!!
there actually was a pan am float plane clipper that accidentally flew around the world due to the outbreak of one WW2
Well, there is a picture of an upside down Stearman over the Kremlin on the front page of today’s Pravda, but nobody showed up to haul us away. We are going to take this opportunity to tiptoe out of Sheremetyevo and make ourselves scarce until things cool down.
So long Moscow, it was fun!
Scenic countryside, just west of Moscow.
Low hanging clouds near Smolensk, Russia.
About to disappear into the clag at 5,000’ over Belarus.
Over Barysaw, Belarus.
We encountered a break the weather just in time to fly over Minsk, Belarus.
Glimpses of Poland.
A better view of the Polish countryside, about 75 nm northeast of Warsaw.
More Polish scenery now that we can see a bit.
The town of Wyszkow and the Bug River.
The confluence of the Narew and Vistula Rivers.
Short final and downtown Warsaw, Poland.
Landing, RWY 11.
Warsaw-Chopin International Airport, Warsaw, Poland.
Warsaw skyline. We’ll do a circuit of the city on the way out tomorrow.
Deplaning out the back today.
Yep. It is a great story and there is a good write-up here.
Departing Warsaw-Chopin (EPWA).
We did a quick circuit of Warsaw to check out the city before turning south to Krakow.
I like the rectangular patterns made by farmers fields.
Gentle rolling hills, just outside of Krakow.
On the ILS RWY 25 approach.
Krakow-John Paul II International Airport (EPKK), Krakow, Poland.
Our aircraft seems to have attracted some attention in the departure lounge.
Might have to stop in to the “Discover Poland” shop and find some Polish delicacies.
Heading out to do some exploration. Hopefully we can find an aircraft to rent and do a low and slow tour of Krakow from the air.
We caught a cab to Czyzyny Airport and were able to rent a well-worn Piper Arrow III with which to tour Krakow. I was hoping for a Stearman, but you can’t have everything.
Departing Czyzyny, RWY 10. Do you see what has me a bit freaked out yet?
Nothing like high tension wires right off the departure end of the runway!
Heading for old-town Krakow.
Complete with horse drawn carriages!
Rather spectacular, don’t you think?
The banks of the Vistula and for footbal fans, the Stadion Miejski Wisły.
The Kościuszko Mound.
More old-town. I wish I had a tour guide to fill me in on what these buildings are!
Interesting architecture in the foreground and undoubtedly something famous in the background.
I didn’t think Poland had nuclear power, but I could swear that is a nuclear power plant. Maybe it was a Soviet-era plant that has been decomissioned.
The Tauron Arena.
I think we might be persona-non-grata in Poland now…
Nothing like high tension wires on the approach end of the runway! Not exactly a stress free approach…
Parked right next to the Polish Air museum.
Visiting the Polish Air Museum before we get kicked out of the country. I love the Tupolev passenger jet and the old Antonov biplane.
Lots of fighters as well as crop dusters.
I like our DC-6 better.
Beware of Russian helicopters!
Well, the Polish authorities gave us a wink and asked us to please refrain from any further flying under bridges while in their country so we elected to stay in Krakow and spend a few days touring the city. Having eaten our fill of Pierogi and sampled all of the fine Polish beers on offer, it is now time to head onward to the next adventure.
Krakow weather is a bit unfortunate. Good thing we’ve already had our aerial tour of the city!
Rainy day views.
A bit of sunlight here and there.
Improving weather just past the Czechoslovakia border.
The outskirts of Prague.
Downtown Prague and the Vltava River.
Hradcany Prague Castle on the right. I believe that the Stadion Evžena Rošického is center view and the old Strahov stadium is on the left.
On the approach to RWY 30.
About to be wheels down in Prague.
Welcome to Prague International Airport (LKPR), Prague Czechoslovakia.
Crossing the Elbe River.
The city of Ústí nad Labem.
Farms and rolling hills.
Looking down at Pirna, Germany.
Looking across the Elbe towards Dresden, Germany. A bit too far away to get a good view.
The Aerium, an old dirigible hangar that is now a water park.
The outskirts of Berlin on the ILS RWY 25L approach.
Arriving at Brandenburg. Weather was not great so we will do a circuit of the city tomorrow.
Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport (EDDB), Berlin Germany. The twisted jetway is courtesy of Asobo and SU5. It is not Aerosoft’s fault, yet is extremely disappointing.
The view from the departure lounge.
The outskirts of Berlin.
Various shots of downtown Berlin as we circled the city. This is the default photogrammetry.
German countryside, possibly enhanced by We Love VFR.
Near the town of Gotha, Germany. I wonder if there is any tie to the World War I bomber of the same name?
Hill country. I should probably give a shout out to the fact that I’m using @bijanstudio’s excellent Four Season Pack throughout this tour. It adds a considerable amount of immersion. He also just released a new project, focusing on Islands, Sunken Boats, Huts and PG Trees that looks great and I will be adding shortly.
Descending into Frankfurt.
Downtown Frankfurt, on the ILS Z RWY 25R. Not sure why they brought us in on the right, but it did offer us some great views of the city.
Frankfurt International (EDDF), Frankfurt, Germany on the approach. This is the Asobo hand-crafted version.
Finally at our parking spot. I’d forgotten how bloody big this airport is. I’m using Easy airlines+aircraft matching with default live traffic, Static AI, and MSFS AI Traffic European Livery Pack to try to get some immersion in the ramp areas of airports. It seems to be working–though I wish Asobo would fix their bug that allows multiple aircraft to spawn on top of each other at gates. The double spawning thing is an absolute and total immersion killer.
A few pictures to try to convey just how big this airport is. The last time I was here as a passenger, I remember running what felt like several miles through the concourses trying to get to from the Lufthansa international pier to the Lufthansa domestic pier to make my connection.
I like this thread. I purchased the DC6 shortly before I lost confidence in the Sim following update/ performance issues.
This may rejuvenate my enthusiasm.
Glad to hear it! While there are still some niggles with SU5, I’m finding that the sim is running great. I bumped my LODs up to 4 in my UserCfg.opt, but I think that is the only change I made. Be sure to set UserCfg.opt to read-only if you mess with it. I’m running ultra on an NVDIA 1080ti and an Intel i7-8700 with 32 GB of RAM. The DC-6 is flying well and PMDG released several updates to address SU5 issues. At least for me, the sim has been stable and performant. I did have massive crashing issues yesterday with A32NX experimental build, but turning off live traffic restored stability. Anyway, I hope you get back in the air!
I’m doing something similar…seems to be a popular challenge!