Simanaitis Says

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YESTERDAY IN PART 1, my GMax mania returned, this time in building a Microsoft Flight Simulator model of the Tupolev ANT-25 long-distance record setter. Or were its Moscow/U.S. West Coast flights only hoaxes?

Either way, as we’ll see today in Part 2, the aircraft was a fine GMax time-gobbler.

GMax Details. I had considerably less documentation for the ANT-25 than for the Lysander, so had to wing some of its technicalities.

One of the real ANT-25s.

Contemporary photos suggest that the ANT-25 wasn’t particularly well-finished. However, I haven’t the artistic skills to mimic shoddy construction.

Fuselage details of my GMax ANT-25.

The ANT-25 had a crew of three: pilot, navigator/radio operator, and copilot. This last guy sat aft beneath a canopy but without any forward view. His role was to give the pilot nap time by keeping the aircraft on course through purely instrumented flight.

I had fun with the copilot’s idle time by giving him a Soviet-era flag to wave. What with 1937 being the year of the ANT-25 Moscow/U.S. flights, I chose a flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, 1918-1937.

Keyboard Shift+E+2 activates a display of patriotism on the copilot’s part.

The ANT-25 had instrument panels galore: the pilot’s, an abbreviated one for the copilot, and necessary instrumentation for the navigator.

I borrowed some instruments from talented Russian flight simmers. For others, I studied up on the Cyrillic alphabet and used Google Translate to modify some others.

Above, the pilot’s instrument panel. Below, the copilot’s.

The navigator has a sextant which I ginned up with GMax, based on a small brass one I acquired in a New Zealand antique shop.

The sextant’s large mirror is adjusted so that the sun’s image coincides with the horizon’s on the smaller split screen. Keyboard T activates the navigator’s “shooting the sun.”

I haven’t tried to simulate the ANT-25’s transpolar flight, though the GMax ANT-25 and I did fly over San Jacinto’s 10,854-ft. peak. Virtually, of course.

Over San Jacinto Peak.

I also put a Moscow/California chart on the navigator’s work table. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2019

4 comments on “GMAX TUPOLEV ANT-25 PART 2

  1. Bob
    October 10, 2019

    I would have expected that you’d know that a sextant in aircraft will produce navigation errors, and know the ANT-25 navigator used a bubble octant. I learned to use one at NAS Corpus Christi in their planetarium, and they were used in Gemini and Apollo flights. In my packed volumes of books I have a translated account (from Russian) of the ANT-25 flight, obtained from a German friend. Most informative and entertaining. The book also describes the bomber versions, and the stratospheric test variants.You might consider a publication on Charles Blair. I was fortunate to meet him just before his untimely death. He touched on several items you deal with … polar flights, large flying boats, plus he married Maureen O’Hara … whom I also met!! Read “Red Ball in the Sun.”Cheers, Bob

    • simanaitissays
      October 10, 2019

      Hi, Bob,
      You can see my one ref on the bubble octant in that faint drawing. On the other hand, I had a perfectly nice little sextant.
      I’d guess the problem with a sextant is the aircraft’s uncertain horizon, right?
      About Capt Blair, I used to live on St Thomas and flew on Antilles Airboats. I did an item on Mrs. Blair here awhile back.

  2. Raphael Belthrand
    April 24, 2020

    FS9 Is my favorite too. I am doing some old time flights on TACA Trimotor over honduras and pixel nicaragua these days.

  3. rbelthrand
    April 24, 2020

    FS9 is a good one for ocassional pixel piloting. I am doing some TACA flight over rough honduras terrain with the AN-AAE trimotor.

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