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At the "dawn" of night flight

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At the "dawn" of night flight

Postby fmg » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:49 pm

Hello,

tried a "new" adventure in FG.
I was interested in the "dawn" of night flight around 1924. In 1924/25 a first connection from Berlin-Tempelhof to Warnemnde at the baltic sea was introduced in Germany for air mail flights. But about the same time it started also in the USA. Tempelhof airport was just opened a year before. In these days there where was no VHF-navigation and all was done by VFR. Therefor a line of lights was build allover the route and the pilot has to follow them. I guess the route to Warnemnde was for testing purpose only. They tested several different lamps as you can see in this graphic and changed the setup therefore.

Image

It seemed that this route didn't exist after 1925 any more and they changed the technology used a bit. At Warnemnde, near Rostock, the air mail was moved to a seaplane and was further transported to Sweden. Later there was a route from Berlin to GdaDsk with a connection to Scandinavia.
A grid of routes all over Europe was established, also for passenger flights. These routes where use until the begin of WW II.
On masts there where fixed or rotating spotlights. Some of them had remained in Poland. Guess in the rest of Europe there all gone. Only some of the foundations could be found.
To find out how it must have been to fly such a route I rebuild the line of lights for the Berlin-Warnemnde connection as it was in October 1925. Unfortunately for this line I only have the names of the places where the lights was and not the exact positions. But it was mostly rather small villages, so I probably not far from it's original position. I found a forum in the net, where they researched a lot of the positions of the original lights, but unfortunate not for this route. I chose it anyway, because it is relative short and not so perfectly made as the later ones. There are a few bends that make it more exciting to find the route since you have to make some turns. It takes about one and a half hour with a slow plane, like the one that where used.
For the light I use the beacon_white from the shared models. In original on this route they made tests with blue and red lights, or arrays of lamps also. These was proved to failure and not used later anymore. So the beacon is probably close to the later used lights, but as I found out the range of the original shared model might be a bit to short. I managed to find the route, but at some longer passages I had a few minutes until I could see the next one. According to the reported ranges for the real lights I extended the range of the beacon a bit. For this purpose you can replace the code in the beacon_white.xml with this code:

Code: Select all
<?xml version="1.0"?>

<PropertyList>

 <path>beacon_white.ac</path>

 <!-- animation>
  <type>range</type>
  <min-m>0</min-m>
  <max-m>45000</max-m>
 </animation -->
 
  <animation>
    <name>Licht</name>
   <object-name>GreenFlash.1</object-name>
   <object-name>GreenFlash.2</object-name>
   <object-name>WhiteFlash.1</object-name>
   <object-name>WhiteFlash.2</object-name>
   <object-name>GreenHalo.2</object-name>
   <object-name>WhiteHalo.2</object-name>
  </animation>


 <animation>
  <object-name>Head</object-name>
  <object-name>Mast</object-name>
  <object-name>GreenFlash.1</object-name>
  <object-name>GreenFlash.2</object-name>
  <object-name>WhiteFlash.1</object-name>
  <object-name>WhiteFlash.2</object-name>
  <object-name>GreenHalo.2</object-name>
  <object-name>WhiteHalo.2</object-name>
  <enable-hot type="bool">false</enable-hot>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>alpha-test</type>
  <alpha-factor>0.01</alpha-factor>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>noshadow</type>
  <object-name>Hull</object-name>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>select</type>
  <object-name>GreenFlash.1</object-name>
  <object-name>GreenFlash.2</object-name>
  <object-name>WhiteFlash.1</object-name>
  <object-name>WhiteFlash.2</object-name>
  <object-name>GreenHalo.2</object-name>
  <object-name>WhiteHalo.2</object-name>
  <condition>
   <greater-than>
    <property>/sim/time/sun-angle-rad</property>
    <value>1.57</value>
   </greater-than>
  </condition>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>range</type>
  <object-name>GreenHalo.2</object-name>
  <object-name>WhiteHalo.2</object-name>
  <min-m>0</min-m>
  <max-m>45750</max-m>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>rotate</type>
  <object-name>GreenHalo.2</object-name>
  <object-name>WhiteHalo.2</object-name>
  <property>/sim/time/elapsed-sec</property>
  <factor>90.0</factor>
  <center>
   <x-m>0</x-m>
   <y-m>0</y-m>
   <z-m>16.8</z-m>
  </center>
  <axis>
   <x>0</x>
   <y>0</y>
   <z>1</z>
  </axis>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>range</type>
  <object-name>Head</object-name>
  <min-m>0</min-m>
  <max-m>2000</max-m>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>rotate</type>
  <object-name>Head</object-name>
  <condition>
   <greater-than>
    <property>/sim/time/sun-angle-rad</property>
    <value>1.57</value>
   </greater-than>
  </condition>
  <property>/sim/time/elapsed-sec</property>
  <factor>90.0</factor>
  <center>
   <x-m>0</x-m>
   <y-m>0</y-m>
   <z-m>16.8</z-m>
  </center>
  <axis>
   <x>0</x>
   <y>0</y>
   <z>1</z>
  </axis>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>range</type>
  <object-name>Mast</object-name>
  <condition>
   <less-than-equals>
    <property>/sim/time/sun-angle-rad</property>
    <value>1.57</value>
   </less-than-equals>
  </condition>
  <min-m>0</min-m>
  <max-m>1500</max-m>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>range</type>
  <object-name>Mast</object-name>
  <condition>
   <greater-than>
    <property>/sim/time/sun-angle-rad</property>
    <value>1.57</value>
   </greater-than>
  </condition>
  <min-m>0</min-m>
  <max-m>1000</max-m>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>range</type>
  <object-name>GreenFlash.1</object-name>
  <min-m>0</min-m>
  <max-m>1000</max-m>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>rotate</type>
  <object-name>GreenFlash.1</object-name>
  <property>/sim/time/elapsed-sec</property>
  <factor>90.0</factor>
  <center>
   <x-m>0</x-m>
   <y-m>0</y-m>
   <z-m>16.8</z-m>
  </center>
  <axis>
   <x>0</x>
   <y>0</y>
   <z>1</z>
  </axis>
 </animation>
 
 <animation>
  <type>flash</type>
  <object-name>GreenFlash.1</object-name>
  <center>
   <x-m>0</x-m>
   <y-m>-0.35</y-m>
   <z-m>16.8</z-m>
  </center>
  <axis>
   <x>0</x>
   <y>-1</y>
   <z>0.1</z>
  </axis>
  <power>100</power>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>range</type>
  <object-name>GreenFlash.2</object-name>
  <min-m>1000</min-m>
  <max-m>45000</max-m>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>rotate</type>
  <object-name>GreenFlash.2</object-name>
  <property>/sim/time/elapsed-sec</property>
  <factor>90.0</factor>
  <center>
   <x-m>0</x-m>
   <y-m>0</y-m>
   <z-m>16.8</z-m>
  </center>
  <axis>
   <x>0</x>
   <y>0</y>
   <z>1</z>
  </axis>
 </animation>
 
 <animation>
  <type>flash</type>
  <object-name>GreenFlash.2</object-name>
  <center>
   <x-m>0</x-m>
   <y-m>-0.35</y-m>
   <z-m>16.8</z-m>
  </center>
  <axis>
   <x>0</x>
   <y>-1</y>
   <z>0.1</z>
  </axis>
  <power>100</power>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>range</type>
  <object-name>WhiteFlash.1</object-name>
  <min-m>0</min-m>
  <max-m>1000</max-m>
 </animation>
 
 <animation>
  <type>rotate</type>
  <object-name>WhiteFlash.1</object-name>
  <property>/sim/time/elapsed-sec</property>
  <factor>90.0</factor>
  <center>
   <x-m>0</x-m>
   <y-m>0</y-m>
   <z-m>16.8</z-m>
  </center>
  <axis>
   <x>0</x>
   <y>0</y>
   <z>1</z>
  </axis>
 </animation>
 
 <animation>
  <type>flash</type>
  <object-name>WhiteFlash.1</object-name>
  <center>
   <x-m>0</x-m>
   <y-m>0.35</y-m>
   <z-m>16.8</z-m>
  </center>
  <axis>
   <x>0</x>
   <y>1</y>
   <z>0.1</z>
  </axis>
  <power>100</power>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>range</type>
  <object-name>WhiteFlash.2</object-name>
  <min-m>1000</min-m>
  <max-m>45000</max-m>
 </animation>

 <animation>
  <type>rotate</type>
  <object-name>WhiteFlash.2</object-name>
  <property>/sim/time/elapsed-sec</property>
  <factor>90.0</factor>
  <center>
   <x-m>0</x-m>
   <y-m>0</y-m>
   <z-m>16.8</z-m>
  </center>
  <axis>
   <x>0</x>
   <y>0</y>
   <z>1</z>
  </axis>
 </animation>
 
 <animation>
  <type>flash</type>
  <object-name>WhiteFlash.2</object-name>
  <center>
   <x-m>0</x-m>
   <y-m>0.35</y-m>
   <z-m>16.8</z-m>
  </center>
  <axis>
   <x>0</x>
   <y>1</y>
   <z>0.1</z>
  </axis>
  <power>100</power>
 </animation>
 
   <animation>
    <name>Blitz</name>
   <!-- object-name>GreenFlash.1</object-name>
   <object-name>WhiteFlash.1</object-name -->
   <object-name>GreenFlash.2</object-name>
   <object-name>WhiteFlash.2</object-name>
  </animation>

 
   <animation>
    <type>dist-scale</type>
    <object-name>Blitz</object-name>
    <interpolation>
      <entry>
        <ind>1000</ind>
        <dep>0.9</dep>
      </entry>
      <!-- entry>
        <ind>1500</ind>
        <dep>0.5</dep>
      </entry>
      <entry>
        <ind>3000</ind>
        <dep>0.7</dep>
      </entry -->
      <entry>
        <ind>6000</ind>
        <dep>1</dep>
      </entry>
      <entry>
        <ind>15000</ind>
        <dep>1.5</dep>
      </entry>
      <entry>
        <ind>20000</ind>
        <dep>1.7</dep>
      </entry>
      <entry>
        <ind>30000</ind>
        <dep>2.5</dep>
      </entry>
    </interpolation>
  </animation>

 
  <animation>
   <object-name>Licht</object-name>
   <enable-hot type="bool">false</enable-hot>
  </animation>

</PropertyList>


Even with the longer range it is a challenge to find the right light in FG since there is a ocean of flickering and blinking lights all over in the night. The airport Warnemnde doesn't exist any more and therefor it is not in FG. So I placed blue lights on it's former borders, that you can find it. Unfortunately a bit is in the water, at least in the scenery 1.01 that I used here.
For the plane I took the Junkers F13. I don't know if it was used on this route but it was used on the later route to GdaDsk. Only report I found for a plane used on this route was a Junkers A20, but there is no model for this in FG. But I guess speed should be about the same.
To make it more exciting I replaced the instrumentation of the FG F13 with unlighted ones here, but it should also work with the original.
If you like to try it yourself you have to put the code for the beacon in the .stg-object files according to this list:
Code: Select all
3171240.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Schwante
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 13.09219977 52.73327301 39.7638 0


3171241.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Stolpe
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 13.25459432 52.64731751 49.2863 0

3171248.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Hohenbruch
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 13.10607147 52.79547023 37.6914 0
#Nachtflug Warnemuende Teschendorf
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 13.17642889 52.86283733 34.4919 0


3171256.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Linde
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 13.13399683 52.89750411 47.9719 0
#Nachtflug Warnemuende Glambeck
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 13.06146495 52.92855940 51.7865 0
#Nachtflug Warnemuende Keller
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 13.02897252 52.98732557 55.3924 0

3154883.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Dierberg
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.96566118 53.02558969 61.2659 0
#Nachtflug Warnemuende Koepernitz
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.94194567 53.05953917 66.5889 0

3154891.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Hohen-Elze
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.88418600 53.12539925 52.0098 0
#Nachtflug Warnemuende Luhme
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.82715342 53.17323275 65.0981 0

3154898.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Rechlin
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.74818377 53.30226958 64.7492 0

3154914.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Schwenzin
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.60238248 53.53610392 68.9719 0


3154921.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Dersertin
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.40117552 53.71446177 57.9226 0


3154929.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Schlieffenberg
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.38688147 53.80636321 49.1850 0
#Nachtflug Warnemuende Droelitz
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.38899865 53.85709082 65.3582 0


3154936.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Prisannewitz
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.22453628 53.98563835 37.4380 0

3154937.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Breesen
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.36906688 53.90490817 30.6673 0
#Nachtflug Warnemuende Kossow
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.30265936 53.97830801 44.0293 0

3154952.stg:

#Nachtflug Warnemuende Warnemuende
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/beacon_white.xml 12.10358545 54.17633927 0.7361 0
#OBJECT_SHARED Aircraft/ufo/Models/cursor.ac 12.11029101 54.17707456 0.3808 0

OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10111892 54.17614984 0.6904 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.09955332 54.17494204 0.0375 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.09875031 54.17431993 -0.0967 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.09978771 54.17299259 -0.0025 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10161818 54.17300162 0.0762 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10455235 54.17302003 0.2836 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10597946 54.17613990 0.3038 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10608948 54.17402064 0.1649 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10055113 54.17397806 0.0539 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10604580 54.17487207 0.4401 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10456874 54.17614315 0.6810 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10351886 54.17614614 1.0833 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10542931 54.17614105 0.4208 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10070053 54.17582660 0.6558 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10569412 54.17376271 0.2490 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10405129 54.17301792 0.4338 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10328913 54.17301546 0.6927 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10429267 54.17301914 0.3133 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10367248 54.17301540 0.7635 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10266388 54.17301393 0.9528 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10205722 54.17301467 0.7620 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10486242 54.17321736 0.3436 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10523450 54.17345949 0.4059 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10607737 54.17436004 0.5304 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10601669 54.17549193 0.6921 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10256154 54.17614813 1.2279 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10409695 54.17614359 0.8228 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10507242 54.17614529 0.5557 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10020852 54.17544285 0.8958 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Effects/taxilampblue.xml 12.10187880 54.17616092 1.5255 0
OBJECT_SHARED Models/Airport/windsock_lit.xml 12.10117017 54.17580235 0.7892 0


Here are some impressions (click to enlarge):

Ready to start at Berlin-Tempelhof
Image

Up in the air
Image

Desperately searching for the next beacon
Image

On it's way
Image

Found a light
Image


Image

The lights of the airfield are in sight
Image

Landed at Warnemünde
Image

Enjoy!

f-)
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Re: At the "dawn" of night flight

Postby Isaak » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:35 pm

Cool!
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Re: At the "dawn" of night flight

Postby Alant » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:51 pm

In the UK pre-war Brooklands (EGLB) had an RAF operated air beacon showing "OE - - - . " with a red light every 10 seconds.

The light beacons persisted in some form or other until 1960 at least.

As a child I lived close to Southend (EGMC) airfield and (depending on the cloud conditions) the rotating white light beam was visible illuminating the sky at night from my bedroom window. I do not recall a code as long as "OE" . but it was a long time ago. I understand that most airfields had such a beacon , and they were set up to give a Morse-code identification when seen from the air. This is similar to that given by maritime lighthouses.

Today they would be hard to discern due to the modern levels of city and street lighting.

Alan
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Re: At the "dawn" of night flight

Postby fmg » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:06 am

In Germany the airports still have beacons. All I have seen was white.
Here is an picture of the beacon at EDDI, Berlin-Tempelhof:
Image
It was also discussed if possibly the beacons from the former light lines are reused at the airports.
There is a swedish guy, Bo Justusson, who had a nice web-side where he collected information about it. If you are interested: http://www.justus2.se/flug/Flugstrecken/Strecken_1931.htm

f-)
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Re: At the "dawn" of night flight

Postby Thorsten » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:39 am

Pretty interesting experiment (for historical flights, it might be interesting to allow to remove present-day lights from the scenery... need to think about this some...)
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Re: At the "dawn" of night flight

Postby fmg » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:18 am

Sounds interesting. I always had the idea, that it might have been a bit easier in reality to find the lights than in FG. If you have a look on areas where the lights was placed there are almost pretty empty with only few urban settlements. Also in Germany in these days lots of this areas might have been not connected to electricity, so that there should be rather few lights apart from the beacons.
I thinking about if I should try to make the lights more similar to the original ones and make test with blue and red ones as mentioned in the chart. But I have only poor information about how this lights looked like and after testing they wasn't used anymore. Guess they would be even harder to find.
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