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Around the World Aircraft

Old 23rd Jan 2017, 21:32
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: United Kingdom
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Around the World Aircraft

I have been planning a flight around the world, to happen in the next few years, to raise money for different charities. In the 3 years of working out all the different parts of the flight, the one thing that has stumped me is which aircraft to use for the trip.

In the 3 years I have evaluated the most popular GA aircraft, however as an 18 year old trainee pilot with only 4 training aircraft in my log book the only knowledge I can work on is stats on the internet and one or two recommendations.

My main priorities were fuel burn and range, and possibly a diesel aircraft as the main advice I take away from earthrounders is that AVGAS becoming harder to find around the world.

So, I take to you, the experts!

Any and all feedback relative to potential aircraft will be appreciated!
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 19:59
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iraq and other places
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Having budgeted a trip around the world in a 182, we came up with required funds of around 100,000 GBP.

Flying around the world is not a good means of raising money for charity unless you can self-fund the actual costs, and raise money on top of that.

In that case, common aircraft for this kind of trip are Cirrus SR22, Piper Comanches, and Bonanzas.

The only Diesel that are really available are the Austro/Thielert of the Diamonds, and a few SMA generation 1 engines flying in 182s.

I have about 140 hours through Africa in an SMA 182 and I'd be wary of using it on a round-the-world; the alternator fails with worrying regularity, mostly through fatigue failure of the connections from the high vibrations it seems.

The Thielert engines (I've only around 20 hours behind one of them) are known for poor reliability and I wouldn't fly one over long stretches of water. I did the Med a couple of times in one from Sardinia to Tunisia and that was more than enough. The Austro engines have a better reputation; however, unlike the SMA engine (which has a mechanical back-up mode), they will fail if electrical power is lost.

An Austro engine with a mechanical back-up mode would be good for round the world but doesn't exist. In lieu of that you could consider a DA42; two engines, and added electrical redundancy. As long as you have a system to dump the extra ferry fuel in case of an engine failure you'd probably be in decent shape with one of them.
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 22:44
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I was recommended a 182 by a previous Earthrounder Bob Gannon who had completed 2 flights around the world in one and had visited a very large portion of the globe, so a 182 was a strong consideration.

The SR22s, Comanches and Bonanzas were some of my first choices because of their popularity, however I was drawn to thinking outside the box to something like a diesel or a less common high performance aircraft.

It seems that because of the relatively development of diesel piston aircraft, the only suitable Jet-A1 single engined aircraft for an around the world trip would be something with a PT6! However a DA-42 does seem like a very viable option!
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Old 25th Jan 2017, 22:11
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We have had an Australian Vans 6 and Slovakian Sinus Pipestral on round the world flights at Teesside airport that I know about.
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Old 26th Jan 2017, 00:48
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: S Warwickshire
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I believe it could be done for about 40K but not much less than that (unless you are Colin Hales with a tent and a KR2!).

Avgas is rare at remote airports and needs to be carefully planned, but it is do-able. At least Lycomings are well understood and spares are available around the world.

Getting 2000NM+ out of any capable 4 seater should be possible by replacing rear seats with ferry tanks. If you look on the Earthrounders web site you'll see quite a selection of types including many homebuilts - RVs, Glasairs, Ezes etc.

Most important is a sound aircraft that you have confidence in and good instrument skills for the bad weather that your unlikely to avoid at some point. Weather and bad fuel planning are much bigger killers than mechanical failures!
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Old 28th Jan 2017, 22:44
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Homebuilt kit aircraft seem to be becoming the one of the popular options for a flight around the world.

A homebuilt aircraft would be the perfect option, and as much as I would love to use one the building process is just too time consuming.

One alternative I considered to a diesel aircraft was an autogas STC, with it being the most accessible fuel around the world, I am not sure about its reliability however.

Colin Hales' trip is the perfect example of circumnavigating on a budget and an inspiration to all of us!

By the time I undertake the trip I should have been planning the trip for around 5 years!
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