The 80th Flight!

Flight number 80 would be the final flight of the original “Around the world in 80 flights” tour so this should be somewhat of a great achievement. However, due to the number of diversions and additional flights I have added to my own tour, despite reaching the 80th flight, I have not even reached my half way point.

Since leaving Edinburgh in the UK 3 years ago I have racked up over 54,000 Kilometres which works out at over 33,500 Miles! I have passed through 37 different countries whilst I have covered Europe and the length of Africa, all the way too Cape Town before continuing to The UAE and Middle East. I then covered the entire length of India or order to reach the Maldives Islands before returning North to the Himalayas and Mt. Everest. From the Himalayas I continued to Asia and across to Japan where I have now begun to double back on myself a little. This is simply so that I can loop further South as I make my way through the Pacific Islands and eventually reach Australia.

From my home in the UK, Australia will make my geographical half way point around the world. I feel that this should be celebrated more than the acknowledgement of my 80th flight. After all, I still have many more miles to go with many more countries to visit. Having significantly amended the original route I shall be completing a total of 203 flights before my wheels finally touch down in Edinburgh UK once more.

Whilst not mathematically nor geographically “half way,” I shall be considering my virtual arrival to the island of Hawaii to be the half way point of my Around The World Tour.
Hawaii to San Francisco is by far the longest flight I will have to negotiate during the tour and will need to heavily modify my tiny Beechcraft Baron 58 in order to make the huge distance but this is still some way off for flight number 120.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the entire time I have been completing this tour although I would love to hear from people who live in any of the places I have already, or am yet to visit. See below for the offical route map and for the full list of destinations I shall be visiting (virtually.)

OFFICIAL ROUTE MAP

Blue Pins = Offical 80 Flights Route
Red Pins = Addional Destinations Added By Me
Yellow Pins = Points Of Interest I Shall Not Land At.

Please continue to follow my virtual adventures around the world and leave comments to help me to make it that little bit more realistic.

Advertisements

Flight 75) Shanghai – Beijing

It had been a long time since my previous flight and I had enjoyed the time spent learning about Shanghai. I really hadn’t known what a huge city this place had become, although now it was time to leave the futuristic lights and skyline of Shanghai for Beijing. I included Beijing on the tour mainly so that I could see the Great Wall of China.

I started by checking the weight and fuel load of my small Beech Baron 58 and made sure I plotted a suitable route north. This didn’t take long and before long I was requesting taxi to runway clearence by 10:00. The rain and fog wasn’t very inviting but made for a rather reflective concrete surface around Shanghai Airport. Unfortunately my take off clearence was denied as the airport was operating IFR only due to the thick fog still in the air, so I created an alternative IFR route and was soon give the clearence I was looking for.

I had to “hold my position” many times during the taxi route to the runway as this really was a very busy airport with other aircraft landing and taking off regularly and many other planes maneuvering to and from their own gates. All of this movement made the radio buzz constantly.

Having almost lapped the main terminal building entirely I finally took to the skies at 10:25 and soon cleared the low clouds. I didn’t want to fly too high as I wanted to get a look at the infamous Shanghai skyline. As the flight sim FSX is a fair few years old now, it is clear to see the rapid expansion of this city as many of the key buildings now standing were not featured in the original software. Still the city looked wonderful with the cresent moon keeping watch.2016-5-29_10-36-15-758.jpg

Flying North-West from the city I passed over the Hung-Tse Lake and then straightend to due North for the majority of the flight. My next waypoint was 1 hour, 45 minutes away.
I flew lower and the speed of the land below gave the illusion I was travelling faster than at higher altitudes.

An hour later and I was approaching the coastline and could see hills and mountains in the distance both infront and from my left hand window. I flew lower once again to have some fun with the hilly terrain below but soon found myself surrounded by mountain fog. Passing over a few unknown cities and lakes with anouther hour and a half still to go until reaching Beijing, the weather finally cleared up.

I suffered with radio confusion between Beijing Center directing me to contact Tianjin Tower and visa versa. This bounced to and from for far too long until I was able call my landing intentions and touch down at 14:38 slightly off center. The few previous runaways I have landed on have belonged to very large international airports. I will look forward to visiting smaller landing strips in the future. I find these can be a little more challenging.
The Beech Baron was parked up by 14:45 and I was looking forward to seeing the sights of Beijing.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Whilst here I really wanted to see the Great Wall of China which can be seen to the North of Beijing. Whilst I took a short flight around the area, I was unable to see the wall at all. Many maps show there to be many sections of the Great Wall. Maybe this just simply isn’t included in the standard FSX simulator software. This was rather disappointing. Nevermind.

Beijing Travel Guide – Beijing official city guide HD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHCab5_BArI
Visit Beijing – 5 Things You WIll Love & Hate about Beijing, China – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZVSii6rB5g
This Is My City – Beijing  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx35kanMWh0
BEIJING Modern City – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH3PvfI7ELQ
Discover Beijing III: A Modern City in Motion (Full Episode) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PrcMFLQ5IQ

[Documentary] The Forbidden City of Ming &Qing Dynasties (1368 – 1912 AD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QvsCr_xK3c
Beijing Travel Guide – Forbidden City Documentary (Palace Museum) Part 1 “Secrets” HD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHypO2ISPas

National Geographic – The Great Wall of China – Documentary  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjlydnRqcmw

Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii-n_QSS0og

Flight 16) Heraklion – Cairo

Cairo is a place that I have always wanted to visit in real life. I have a great interest in the ancient Egyptians and the civilization they created. The amounts of artefacts that can be seen in the British museum and many others across the world are a testament to how big a stamp they made.

The pyramids are obviously the first thing that comes to mind when visiting this majestic city and I was eager to see this from the air as I flew in.

Crossing the expanse of water towards Egypt I was flying directly for Alexandria on the north coast. Alexandria is somewhere I think would be worth visiting. I am skipping it on this tour but I may jump at the chance if I ever get the opportunity to see it in the flesh. Spotting the mouth of the longest river in the world, The Nile, I followed it south and saw the small strip of vegetation on either bank of the river in an otherwise desolate landscape. As Cairo came into view the city sprawled out in all directions. I knew the pyramids were on the west bank, but I didn’t know where. I flew low and circled once before I saw all 3 of the largest pyramids. I flew closer and spotted the sphinx too.

The sun was beginning to set and cast a lovely glow over the sides of the pyramids and I decided I would take a helicopter over the sights of Cairo before I left the city. Although I survived my attempt at virtual helicopter piloting, I can admit I need much more practice.

 Image

Cairo Pyramids

Image 

Sphinx

Cairo Guide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMY_GIfbSvQ

Life in Cairo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnCBqGTTPJ8

Walking in Cairo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0S6UyK4UFI

National Geographic – Inside the Pyramids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcFB3FXmyog

Tour of the Pyramids HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYmEOw6VaZU

Alignment codes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zplFy6l9IlI

Gateway to the stars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJLGUCI6Z8o

Anunnaki Documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXsdNiFac8w

Flight 15) Athens – Heraklion

With this flight covering a huge amount of water I wasn’t too interested in views. Although there were a lot of islands to leap on the way, I decided to take this flight at night. It was a different kind of adventure flying at night. The stars twinkled on the ocean’s surface and the small islands had orange glows of street lights spread across some of them.

Crete however was a beacon of light with its much larger cities. Especially as I got closer to Heraklion. Dia Island was the last island to cross before landing at Heraklion and with no population on the island the lack of any lights made it a dark and creepy void in the middle of the night. Images on Google Earth do make it look impressive. Maybe I can go and settle there one day.

My first impressions of Heraklion are that it is a rather relaxed place. Somewhere that I would love to spend a relaxing holiday and soak up some sun.

Image

Heraklion Port

Heraklion holiday video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP_rihTxbfc

Heraklion City Tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C2ih1IfmoY