Weltfliegers: Aviation Pioneers of the 1920/30s

PAPUA Dutch whalers

this is a continuation of Franks Papua blog which has been moved:

Since the Mid-1920ies the Dutch used many Dornier Wals all over their East-India colonies (now Indonesia). The last ones were shot down by Zeros in 1942…

Here you do a N-coast-to-S-coast pioneer flight in Dutch Papua. Follow the rivers in the steaming jungle - into the Highlands which were uncharted territory at the time.
PAP_IJ__dornier_wal.PLN (5.6 KB)

There are persistent rumours of gold and mineral deposits up there (todays gigantic Puncak mine). Land at your discretion on fabled mountain lakes (13000+ft !) for ore inspection and nugget collection (pics). Fuel is only available at mission stations Danau Lake & Wamena.


Thank you for the latest flight plan for the Wal. I really enjoyed the trip although the Wal was strugling a bit with the height.


Antarctica - The Mountains of Madness

The Dornier Wal expeditions € of the 20ies (and R. Byrds south pole flight with the Fokker) had a huge impact on the imagination of the public.

A good example is HP Lovecrafts 1930 novel “Mountains of Madness” figuring many Wals, probably the best horror story of all times - prominent even in today’s pop culture:

So put on your seal-skin boiler-suit and fly your Dornier across the continent, starting near Mt. Erebus - to find that mythical mountain range $.

ANTARC_HP_lovecr_wal.PLN (5.5 KB)

Occasional sim DEM spikes & sinkholes are Jörgs tribute to the alien buildings & caves of that forbidden city…

Trip ends in Aerosofts Rothera station (we also use their monitoring devices as nav beacons), acting as a contemporary whaling post (its cackling penguins figuring prominently in the book …)

$ Too bad in the sim the North pole region ist a blue & warm coral sea, so all Amundsen etc. stuff is still a mute point!

€ Its location is up to debate - literally hundreds of URLs are devoted to it :crazy_face::
esri-lovecraft-madness.png (1357×591) (msu.domains)

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This would be the PERFECT addon for your adventures :wink:

Try this, 1926 Airway Route CAM5 » Microsoft Flight Simulator

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A wish list item for a World Update for Papua and western New Guinea has been added. All weltfliegers unite!

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Caribbean Whales

1919 SCADTA was the first latin-american airline, located in Colombia, run by Germans and remembered today mainly by philatelists :

(folks, lets do some lobbving that the next local legend will be the Junkers F13 - for unlimited possibilities…).
SCADTA - Wikipedia

1925 two of their Dornier Wals made a scouting trip called the “Centroflug” from Colombia via Central America and Cuba to Florida and the Bahamas, looking for post & passenger opportinities.
Ultimately the project was stalled by the USA (and PanAm).

Info about the route is scarce and inconsistent, so I took the liberty to place WPs: vulcanoes as nav-aids, lakes for emergency landings plus scenery highlights. All WPs labelled “Conf(irmed)Stay” are historical stopovers however.

PION_scadta_wal.PLN (11.9 KB)



was a popular German aviatrix and glam girl in the 1930ies:

She always had a phonograph, high heels and a big bottle of Cognac stored away in her tiny planes…

I will cover her early Africa trip later (as that plane is still in sim-dev: https://www.classics-hangar.de), so lets start with the highlight of her 1931 round-the-world flight:

E.B. met on the way not only famous pilots Jim Mollison, Ch. Kingsford-Smith, Horace Brinsmead and Maurits Pattist - (it was a small world…) but also two American adventurers on their own RTW and they flew together for quite a while, ending up in eastern India, Baghdogra (VEBD).

Here they decided for an Everest flight, uncharted territory as the first overflight was much later: Houston–Mount Everest flight expedition - Wikipedia

The Stearman (I use the WACO instead) and her 80 HP Klemm 26 tried to approach Everest from the East, not going higher than 16000ft* in order to avoid passing out.

They had problems to discern the Big One from other peaks Lhotse and Makalu due to the incomplete maps of the time - so were probing the valleys to get as close as possible.

This is the PLN:
PION_Elly_Everest.PLN (7.9 KB)

For the way home (with all the extra tanks had fuel for 5-6 hours!) she turned straight East, along the Himalaya chain, trying to get snapshots of mighty Kangchenjunga (28000ft)

Finally was checking out Gangtok, Darjeeling & Tiger Hill before descending into the clouds…

Guess all of us have done Lukla to EBC countless times - so this historic flight adds an exciting twist, enjoy!

*she claims in her book that the KL 26 could reach 17000ft (which I find remarkable) - when crossing the Andes later on she was sniffing oxygen from a bottle…


Great “photos” and information! It would be an amazing feat today, it’s even more exciting to think this was more than 90 years ago!

I took the Bücker Jungmann for the first leg of the Elly Beinhorn flightplan. Early morning takeoff in VEBD Bhagdogra Airbase. I didnt want to fly non-stop like the pioneers (lame, I know) so I deviated from the course and landed in Taplejung which is located on top of one of the mountains.


Hard to see Taplejung (VNTJ, circled) through the rising sun shining through the mist of the beginning day.


Took off from Taplejung and followed the route, but I think the Bücker is too weak to fly the whole plan. As the first attempt, I took off with 93% fuel, but the airplane was too heavy for the altitude and stalled on me twice during flight. Reduced fuel and tried again. I struggled to get her up to 5000 m where I finally was able to cross the mountain ridge, but behind that I got into such a nasty downdraft that I lost 1000m. I thought “Where’s downdraft, there’s updraft” and tried to find the thermals, but I couldn’t back up and during my attempts to find a path, I crashed. With the Bücker not having a stall horn, a stall sneaks up to you when you’re at maximum altitude and the airplane is on the verge of stalling. Suddenly it dropped a wing and I was too low over the mountains to recover.
Here are the last pics where you can see how I struggled. The altitude is so high that you have to lean down the engine almost to “engine stop”. 'I flew with full throttle all the time and barely got over 2250 RPM.
Have to try a stronger airplane next time. The end was frustrating but it was an exciting flight with breathtaking views in VR!



another German aviatrix of the 1930s, the first female captain of the Lufthansa (flying Asobo-Junkers F.13 !):
Marga von Etzdorf - Wikipedia

She became famous for the first solo Europe - Japan, but met later a tragic end due to a pact with the devil:

The 1931 Berlin-Sibiria-Tokyo-flight took 11 days. She was navigating following railways and rivers at very low-level, using crude maps and dead reckoning.

PLN is rough outline based on todays MSFS-airports.
PION_marga_tokyo.PLN (8.2 KB)

For the Trans-Sib railway I found a KML-file here that you can use in LittleNavMap:


Unfortunately its not too accurate, running on parallel roads near the rails - but the Trans-Sib track is clearly visible in the sim and marked on LNMap - a classic early-days Nav-challenge!

I use the Bücker as it comes close to her tiny Junkers A50 (power/weight, open cockpit etc - plus an autopilot for armchair-cheating…).

please tell if someone has replicated it in full…


Elly Beinhorn cont.- the first African Queen

1931 E.B. flew to Africa with a 40 HP (!) Klemm 25 (on which there are MSFS news: https://msfsaddons.com/2022/10/30/an-early-look-into-classics-hangars-first-project-for-msfs-the-klemm-l25/ )

pic from the Klemm fanpage: Beinhorn, Elly | (wordpress.com)

a. On the first stages from Berlin to Morocco she survived an emergency landing in a snow storm at the Black Forest:

PION_Elly_Afr_1_A.PLN (5.1 KB)

b. Next stages were along the coast to Guinea, working there as an Aero Scout for some anthropologists, dodging locust swarms and killer ants in the cockpit:

PION_Elly_Afr_1_B.PLN (4.3 KB)

c. Disaster struck on the way home. She crash landed near Tombouctou, was rescued by Tuareg and evacuated to Casablance by the French air force.
The PLN has the crash site as a WP - and the planned route to Oran (if you want to try, remember: dead reconning over the Sahara with 40HP!)

PION_Elly_Afr_1_C.PLN (5.8 KB)

d. Her sponsors did send a plane piloted by WW1 & WW2 (!) ace “Uncle Theo” (Theo Osterkamp - Wikipedia) to fly home together.

PION_Elly_Afr_1_D.PLN (4.2 KB)

Niger crash area:

Upon arrival in Germany she became a national celebrity, making the world tour in 1932 possible (see above).


Maurice Wilson - The Mothman Chronicler

Probably the most bizzare flight of the 1930s was by this true believer:

His intention was to fly from London to the Himalayas, land his D.H. Moth (MSFS payware) on the Rongbuk Glacier at the north face of Mt. Everest and climb solo to the top from there.
His plane was modified: extra tanks for 1200km/9hours range, engine for higher ceiling hight, “tundra” tyres/gear.

Pic from a book cover on the subject:
*The Moth and the Mountain

With a minimum of flying hours and against all odds in May 1933 (The first flight over Everest was just done https://pilote-de-montagne.com/3-et-9-avril-1933-premiers-survols-de-leverest-par-lexpedition-houston) he managed to reach India, playing all sorts of tricks with the British Empire bureaucracy which tried to stop him all along.
PION_wilson_to_india.PLN (10.4 KB)

Unfortunately VEPU Purnea was the end of the line, his stalwart Moth was finally impounded - so he continued illegally on foot to Rongbuk Monastery, starting the solo climb to North Col, never to be seen again .
Occasionally his bones are still found on the glacier…

Here we do a what-if PLN:
M.W. dodges the obstinate Imperial Police Forces and indeed manages to fly from India into Tibet. Climbing slowly along the mighty Arun Canyon, turning west on the tibetan plateau and then south via the glaciers to his projected starting point (pic center).
PION_wilson_everest.PLN (4.4 KB)


strange flags over ANTARCTICA

1938: Germany wanted a share of Antarctica and its whaling grounds. An expedition was sent out to lay claim on an uncharted territory they called Neuschwabenland.

Included were Dornier Wals which could be cat-launched and crane-lifted by the sea-plane tender:

This PLN
PION_neuschwabenland.PLN (3.3 KB)

is a condensation of the many recce flights the Wals did.

DEM/Bing is reasonable, WPs are labelled according to this map (from book ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 3935962053.)

The planes could fly for 10 hours and had to climb to 13.000ft to match the peaks. Cockpit was closed but the photographers were exposed to -30°C temperatures.

Well, conspiracy theorist worldwide know that this was just a cover up for more sinister plans: Area 211 is alive and kicking under the ice of a flat (or hollow?) earth:

Hitler’s Antarctic base: the myth and the reality (histarmar.com.ar)

modders will ultimately come up with the uber-UFOs stationed there (step aside Darkstar, this is Aldebaran technology) - until then you have to make do with the humble Dornier…



SVALBARD: saving Nobile & Amundsen

1928: on the way back from the North Pole the airship “Italia” went missing NE of the Svalbard archipelago. It started the biggest SAR-operation so far:

Sketch of ships and planes involved (from this book ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 3442757827)

The bewilderung array of planes on-site can be mimicked by us with Fokker VII, Ju-F13, Jenny, Do-Wal, Ju-52, Moth, Bucker, even the Ryan.
I took the Savoia S.55, a real gem in the sim, somewhat overlooked.

A. The big planes came all the way up from the continent
The Latham started near LeHavre via Bergen to Tromsö, the Wal in Pisa, the S-55 via the Adria to Vadsö, the G24 from Stockholm via Lulea.
PION_nobile_italy_w.PLN (7.4 KB)
PION_nobile_italy_e.PLN (5.5 KB)


Modeled are the western and eastern route.
Then they had to try the first crossing ever to Svalbard, passing Bear Island:
PION_nobile_norw_sval.PLN (2.4 KB)

B. the small planes were operating on-site via ships from water and ice (floaters could tackle both)

Besides looking for survivors all were interacting with ground forces/structures: dog-sled patrols, weather stations, hunter cabins, castaway depots, see PLNs:
PION_nobile_sval_N.PLN (4.3 KB)
PION_nobile_sval_S.PLN (3.2 KB)

Planes ventured way out onto the ice (where is it?) and Franz-Josef-Land:
PION_nobile_fr_josef.PLN (2.5 KB)

Bing raw data are a bit washed-out (luckily there is a free 25m-DEM), but the area is still the best arctic region for the time being.
Don’t forget the bad weather here - sudden fog, storms, low clouds - for a challenge set it up accordingly. The real pilots actions and stories are beyond belief…


1927 - BRAZIL First crossing of the Mato Grosso

Italian aviator Francesco de Pinedo flew his Savoia S.55 on a “four continents” flight, from Italy via Africa, all over South America to the USA.

We start in Rio and do first a long but easy coastal hop to Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Asuncion:
PION_S55_pinedo_s_amer.PLN (4.1 KB)

Now the adventure begins:
F.d.P. flew 3400km along the rivers of the Mato Grosso to Manaus, largely unknown territory at the time (today we fly long stretches over pastures - 1927 is was all primeval forest).

Navigation was difficult, weather often bad, forcing them to skim the triple-canopy jungle. Night was spend anchoring on shore, once the S.55 had to be towed by steamer to find a starting position without river bends.
PION_S55_pinedo_mato_g.PLN (4.4 KB)

From Manaus he continued to New Orleans, this PLN will be covered in a later post.

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last stop on a runway?

…´well, as far as I can tell, you can’t stop/land on water unless it has a sea-plane-base-tag.
Just look around and bring her down.

you’re right. very pragmatically resolved