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Author Topic: The Schneider Trophy of 1931: Bert's Trophy  (Read 787 times)

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The Schneider Trophy of 1931: Bert's Trophy
« on: August 21, 2020, 02:21:41 PM »

Bert’s Trophy

Bert's Trophy is a Von-Lars Production. Text below by Lars...

How this came about
I live in a retirement home among whom are several ex civil and military types. Towards the end of 2019 I decided to demonstrate Il2 1946 using our communal lounge 72 inch television. It was well received.I was chatting after with my 94 year old neighbour and friend, Bert, who told me that in 1931 his mother took him as a five year old to see the seaplane race at Portsmouth. He remembers complaining he could only see one plane flying. Bert is one of life’s gentlemen and is such a nice fellow that I thought wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could recreate the race so that he could have a go at flying it. Even in his 80s Bert flew the MS Flight Simulator so was no stranger to this.Bert had a bad fall recently which had affected his eyes so it was a race against time before he went blind. The thought of flying the race gave him a tremendous boost so I began researching.

I looked at the BAT TGA files and found three suitable seaplanes, although they were frankenplanes rather than the proper types. I chose the bare bones map used in the Battle of Britain which showed the Portsmouth and Solent area where the race took place. My programming skills are not good so I asked for help to which Vonofterdingen responded, We formed a very good team and eventually developed the scenarios we now present before you.I checked the internet, went to the Portsmouth archives for newspaper reports of the time and consulted several books about the Races.I even found some Pathe News movie clips of the 1931 race which helped add to the atmosphere.With Von’s help we began to populate the map with the appropriate shipping, landmarks, and aircraft (more details in the read me notes). Piece by piece we developed what we think is an exciting race consisting of two laps at this stage.Bert practiced every day with me as copilot reading off the speed and height to compensate for his poor eyes. Whistler then came to the rescue with a way to increase the font size of his NgHUD mod so that on the big tv screen Bert could see what he needed during the flight. Vampire explained the background to the Frankenplanes. Mace also helped with his banner mod so that we could have an aircraft flying by, wishing Bert good luck in his race. Bert was highly amused by this.Come the day of the race about 20 residents attended to cheer him on. They all held their breath while he spent 20 minutes taking off, flying two laps, and landing. I am pleased to say he did this, albeit with a bumpy landing and he beat the opposition to win, much to everyone’s relief. I believe Bert, at 94, is probably the oldest flyer of this sim.

Von and I have gone as far as we can, so now it is up to those with the skills to create the actual seaplanes and improve on some of the problems we came across. If there is willing out there maybe the races from 1912 to 1931 can be set up as a challenge. As a footnote Bert met the great aviatrix Amy Johnson, but being only nine he was more interested in her plane than her so cant remember much about her. My thanks to Von, Whistler, Mace, Vampire and all those who encouraged me to complete this for Bert. You have made an old man very happy, and Bert too lol.

This is a recreation of the Schneider Trophy seaplane race of 1931 in the Solent River between Ryde and Portsmouth. Due to the limitations and availability of items within the simulator it is a fun scenario but as near to the real event as possible. Some aspects have been changed to create more immersion as explained below.

Download here: http://www.mission4today.com/index.php?name=Downloads3&file=details&id=2849

Unzip the Schneider.zip file and copy the contents to your IL-2 main directory. This will create a set of files in:
 [Game Dir]\Missions\Single\GB
To fly a race, first make sure that you are in the BAT TGA era. Then select Single Missions from the main menu. Make selections per the screen below:

Each race comes in two versions: one with regular race plyons and the other with larger pylons. The latter easier on the eyes. The available races are as follows:

UK Supermarine S5 vs Other S5 aircraft. The player races against 3 other S5s, each marked as British, American, French and Italian.

UK Supermarine aircraft w/4 racers. The S5 player races against the Curtiss (American), MC72 (Italian), and Shavrov 2 (French)

French aircraft w/4 racers. The player is in the Shavrov and races against the Supermarine (British), Curtiss (American), and MC72 (Italian)

US Curtis aircraft w/4 racers. The player is in the Curtis and races against the Supermarine (British), Shavrov (French), and MC72 (Italian)

The Aircraft
The Supermarine S5, a Frankenplane that looks like the actual plane. This will be your player’s main choice. The winner in 1931 was the S6B although the S5 did win in 1929.

The Macchi MC72, another Frankenplane. This aircraft set a new world record in 1932. The model does not alas allow the player to fly this. It is the fastest but most erratic of the contenders.

The Curtiss. This is the sturdiest and won the race in 1925. It may be the slowest but always completes the race so hopes the others get disqualified or crash. Lol. Flyable.
Shavrov 2. Strictly a flying boat from that period but the nearest available contender from the aircraft list. We treated it as borrowed from the Russians by the French as their entry was not ready. It has a habit of cutting its engine and gliding to land. Flyable. This is the most equal to the S5 in abilities.

The Bristol Bulldog. Non flyable. This aircraft followed the competitors, monitoring their flight paths and watching the weather patterns. The actual aircraft was a Fairey Firefly but that has not been modeled as yet.

The Tiger Moth with banner. Non flyable. This was a late addition to cheer Bert on as he attempted to fly the race.

The races
There are two main types of race. First where four S5s compete. Second, the mixed seaplanes where the S5, MC72, Curtiss, and Shavrov2 compete. As another option you can also fly the Curtiss or Shavrov against the others.

In the real race the shipping was held in anchorages while the race was on but for immersion we decided to have the ships of all types continue on their way. It was after all the Great Depression when time was money. Watch out for the Ryde paddle steamer crossing the flight path at the end. Flight time should be about 25 minutes. The actual race flew seven laps but we limited this to two for Bert. You will find cameras placed at various spots on the course. There were over 200,000 people watching the race from the shorelines but Von and I could not recreate a realistic vision of this, even with vehicles parked along the shore so we felt it best left to the imagination.

The map

Vonofterdingen and I, Larschance, used CanonUK English Channel map and populated it with the following

Steam train coming into Ryde bringing punters to watch the race. Ideally a white steam would have been better but the object list only allowed the German passenger train.

Von made Henry VIII’s castle and the later lighthouse at the entrance of Portsmouth Harbour.
Von, on my advice made the forts in the middle of the Solent, which are still there to this day.

A Steeple was added to Ryde as it was a key guide for ships in the day.

A Starting cannon was added next to the pier.

Cameras were placed at various spots on the course, including a good overview of the start and finish.

Ships were anchored next to the pylons both to help the pilots see them and to rescue any in trouble.

Various ships of the period were added from the object list for immersion effect.

Wait for the starting cannon before switching on your engine.
Taxi to between the starting pylons, watching out for your rivals.
Take off and head for the first pylon due east of Hayling Island. Build take off speed slowly to 80mph. Too fast and the waves swamp you. Keep below 1200 feet at all times and make sure you fly around the three pylons not in front of or over them.
Fly around the first pylon and fly along the Southsea coast in front of Henry VIII’s castle. The second pylon will be on your left just before Portsmouth Harbour entrance. This is the stretch where you can gain speed on your rivals.
Carry on west until you pass a two funnel liner and you should see the third pylon ahead. Fly around that and then over the headland back towards the Pier at Ryde.
Repeat the lap and this time fly between the finishing pylons at the pier then turn around to land in front of where you started. Land at about 60 mph with flaps down. Watch out for the paddle steamer crossing the flight path.
Switch off engine. You win by finishing before your rivals and back at the start in one piece. Good luck.

Known Items to be fixed
The seaplanes after landing continue to taxi without stopping.
Although there were no radios aboard then, to save weight, we included ground control. We would like each nationality to have its own announcer but could only get the English to work.
Most of all to Vonofterdingen, without whose help I could not have created this and had so much fun doing so.
To Bert, whose chat gave birth to this, my first effort in creating a mission, and for helping test it as it developed. We had a lot of laughs and many crashes at first. It is not easy to fly a seaplane let alone be a poor sighted 94 year old.
To Oleg Maddox who originated the Il2 concept which led to this great sim.
To the long forgotten developers who created the aircraft we used. Let me know who you are and we can credit you.
To the BAT team who created the wide range of periods that we can now enjoy.
To Vampire for his encouragement and advice.
To Mace for his Banner which made Bert laugh so much.
To Whistler for helping us increase the font size on his NgHUD so that Bert could see the necessary data for flight.
To Len for checking the shipping was in the right lanes and suggesting adding the church steeple.
To Bert’s fellow residents who cheered him on to success.
I hope you all have as much fun flying this as Bert, and that Vonofterdingen and I had in creating it.



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Re: The Schneider Trophy of 1931: Bert's Trophy
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2020, 03:48:03 AM »

This is awesome stuff!  :D

And a player almost as old as Il-2, finally ;)

BAT has fulfilled its duty, you can all go home now.


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Re: The Schneider Trophy of 1931: Bert's Trophy
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2020, 05:42:26 AM »

Thanks Vampire. I am happy to report that Bert is still going strong at 95 and we are keeping clear of the virus so far. Bert is a bit frustrated as he changed to a MAC computer a while ago and so cannot play the race unless he borrows my PC laptop. Still he is thrilled to be part of our community.


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Re: The Schneider Trophy of 1931: Bert's Trophy
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2020, 01:30:08 PM »

We had so much fun doing this. Lars was working with Bert doing practice runs right up to the last minute before the great event. Bert pulled it off though. Wish I could have been there to see it.
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