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Mauritius Route


  The Mauritius route is an emergency alternative for the regular Batavia routes.

  Click on the airplane to see your next leg

The Mauritius Route: a little bit of history

It is hard to imagine in our time, but after World War II the Netherlands were still a real old fashioned colonial nation: our "Ministry of Overseas Territories' managed the ties that existed with the Dutch East Indies, New Guinea, the West Indies and Suriname. A truly global empire in the eyes of the then politicians: the ties had to be tightened firmly again after the forced neglect during the war. And not only to be a world power again, but also simply because the treasury was empty and the colonies could contribute substantially to fill it up again.

However, things turned out differently: as in many colonies of western countries, also in the Dutch East Indies, insurgent movements arose that aspired to independence.

The awareness that, due to the power vacuum after the war, there had come an end to an age-old situation of colonization, did not strike immediately to everyone. Therefore, in 1947 and 1948, under the name of "police actions" Dutch soldiers were deployed to fight the independence fighters. These "police actions" had little to do with the police, but more with military repression of the "insurgents".

Of course the deployment of the army did not stay unnoticed by the rest of the world: some countries that had just become independent, or were in a similar process, turned against the Netherlands. A simple way to thwart the Netherlands, without immediately sending a declaration of war to The Hague, was to close individual airports or the entire airspace. Because everyone knew that the fast connection between the East Indies and the "motherland" through the sky had become indispensable.

So it was that airports in the then British Indies (now India), Arabia, Singapore, Pakistan and other countries could not be used and that several countries at one point completely closed their airspace for Dutch aircraft.

Thus the lifeline between the Dutch East Indies and the Netherlands became endangered. Not in the last place indeed the lifeline of the KLM: before the war, more than half, in the post-war years still more than 35% of the revenues of KLM came from the East-Indies-line! It's evident that KLM devised various alternative emergency routes, but the flight range of the DC-4, the only long-range aircraft that was available immediately after the war with KLM, was insufficient for most alternatives. From May 1946, the Constellations were gradually available. Their flying range made it possible to seriously think about alternative routes that did not go via Arabia or India.


                   The PH-TDF “Franeker” that made the first Mauritiusflight on Januari 26 1949

The Routes

In the image below in the timetable of 1946 you can see the routes from Amsterdam to Batavia (now Jakarta) as they were flown by the DC-4:

As shown in the image above: not everyone could just buy a ticket, only passengers and freight approved by the Government could fly!

For quite some time before there were any sanctions, emergency routes were devised at KLM headquarters. Out of all the possible variants the least worse one was eventually chosen: Amsterdam - Tunis or Cairo - Aden or Khartoum - Mauritius - Batavia.

When the sanctions of various countries were a fact, KLM had to switch to the already invented emergency routes. Sometimes the Constellations flew illegally on the territory of nowadays India, but that was - despite the lack of radar coverage - not for long.

The maximum payload of the L749-22 and -33 amounts, up to a distance of about 2000 nm, between 5 and 6 tons. The sector of Mauritius to Batavia was 3,000 nm. Due to the large amount of fuel to be loaded, the maximum payload worsened to somewhere between 1300 and 2900 kg, despite the fact that everything that was not necessarily needed in the Connie, was removed! And then at the start in Mauritius the aircraft had to be taxied backward by manpower and with negative propeller pitch until it really could not go any further and every inch of the runway was used ...


The tour in the simulator

The Mauritius tour of the KLM-VA consists of the way Amsterdam - Batavia through the Mauritius route and the way back Batavia - Amsterdam through the conventional route. The tour has, certainly on the way out the character of a long-haul, with flight legs up to approximately nine hours flight.

The total distance covered is about 8600 nm on the way out and 7300 nm on the way back. Required flight time is approximately 50 hours, spread over about 27 hours out and 23 hours back.

In total there are 11 legs to fly; they are flown, as was customary from radio beacon to radio beacon. The beacons are not evenly distributed along the route. Although not real life, you may if necessary, use the GPS function of the simulator to support navigation. With the tour rules you will find further directions.

The regular tour rules apply:

  • Report all timestamps in UTC
  • There will be flown online in real time mode with real weather; daylight can be simulated
  • The 11 legs must be flown in the right order
  • Prior to start taxiing and after parking at the gate you should be at least six minutes online
  • After every leg you have to disconnect from the network
  • An interruption (disconnect) of up to 30 minutes is allowed if caused by an FS or PC crash (report timestamps)
  • Include: "MAURITIUS" in the "comments" section of the flight plan and of course as usual "KLMVA" or "KLM-VA"
  • If you want to report a leg in the IVAO VA system for validation, then it must be within 7 days after the flight
Also, the following special rules apply:
  • This tour is to be flown with a L-749 Constellation, or another type of propeller plane which is comparable in terms of properties such as the DC-6, DC-7 or L-1049
  • Cruising height is max. 24 000 ft, regularly 18 000 ft
  • Speed is max. 345 KIAS, cruising speed max. 300 KIAS
  • Although the tour is playing in the past, there will be flown with contemporary navigation beacons and take offs and landings will be at the airports of today
  • As the density of radio beacons was not always sufficient to enable direct navigation; there was flown by "dead reckoning" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_reckoning). In the simulator, you can use the GPS function, but practice with dead reckoning is also very instructive
  • Note the fuel consumption. In reality, one of the most decisive elements for a successful operation, especially the correct assessment of the "point of no return". On the "Howgozit" - chart was tracked how actual consumption developed compared to the planned consumption. Read more on http://www.bluegrassairlines.com/feature_of_the_month/2003/feature_jul2003.htm
  • Normal cruising speed around 250 KIAS at cruising altitudes around 18,000 ft. For complete details about the operation, see the "propliner tutorial" on http://www.calclassic.com/propliner_tutorial.htm.
Each finished leg delivers, in addition to the normal points for a flight and for the flighthours, five company points - plus an extra company point if you send in the the flight report to IVAO for validation (validating flights in the IVAO VA-system) within seven days after the flight.
If you've finished all legs you receive the "KLM-VA Mauritius" badge in your pilot-profile and additionally you will receive 25 company points.