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.

Flight 70) Dhaka – Mandalay

I had been looking forward to my first flight with my new PC just to see what the new shiny hardware could do with the aging microsoft flight sim. I was very pleased to see that the whole experience seems much smoother and has longer draw distances meaning I can now see further than ever before.

I had the expected teething issue during installation and configuration when trying to get the plug-ins and add-ons working correctly but after a few evenings of frustration I was able to get 99% of everything working. Enough at least to continue the tour.

Dhaka had been hugely interesting and admittedly unexpectedly so. I never knew the problems this city faced as it grew by such huge numbers daily. It seems sad that there as so many people left to fend for themselves in a new city as the move from the villages, unable to find work or a place to live. I suppose the desperation is what drives them to find a better life in a city. It’s ironic though how many people I know who live in cities long for a life away from the hustle and bustle of a busy city. There should be some kind of swap or trade in lives somehow.

When it was time to leave Dhaka, I decided I could do the flight early one morning and plotted a simple route over the Manipur mountains which run down the Western boarder of Myanmar (Burma.) Sitting at Gate 3 of Dhaka International Airport next to a Pacific Airlines passenger jet, I watched many ground vehicals busying themselves like insects. My joystick does not seem to like Windows 10 and as such I am having issues with my rudder and steering when on the ground. I spent a few minutes trying to improve this with no real resolution. It is bearable but I would not class my plane as “safe” if this was real world. I decided to change controls for steering which will take getting used to but solves my problem. Whilst ensure my Beech Baron was once again “airworthy” I could hear that there was another plane requesting clearance to Mandalay. I was going to be following this plane although my smaller plane would certainly not be able to keep up.

I pushed back from my gate at 8:42 and taxied to Runway 14. This would be a rougly South-Easterly direction with 180 degrees representing due South.

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Once in the air the terrain opened out ahead of me and the clear open skies welcomed me back. With many rivers around Dhaka there was a lot of sun being reflected from the water below. I was able to hold the aircraft steady, crusing at 3,500 feet until the fields below eventually gave way to forests with a line of hill tops on the horizon. These hill tops quickly rose into steper mountains and I knew I had reached the Manipur mountains as planned.

 

I dropped height to have some fun within the ridges and saw valley floors strectching out for miles on either side of me. Being this low to the forest I could see many flocks of birds leaving their branches and flying through the over of the trees. I enjoyed the fact that simulator had that additional level of detail. The long winding roads cutting through the forest looked very remote and I saw no traffic on the roads at all. Even upon reaching the first waypoint of my trip, a lonely airstrip, I saw no traffic. I turned for a heading of 150 and would stay on this direction for another 40 mintues as the vegitation became much greener and I began to see the odd small hut hidden within the trees.

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I reached waypoint 2 at 10:00 with only 35 minutes left until I was due to arrive at Mandalay and climbed to 8,000 feet so that I could see the city as I came in. From this height I could see the land flatten out where the city would be and the forests turned back into fields, then town outskirts and then finally the city itself.

It wasn’t long before I was within the fog again touching down at Mandalay International on Runway 17, parking up and watching the airport traffic get to work.

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Mandalay Royal Palace

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Mandalay International Airport – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJylcgwTizg

Taxi from mandalay airport to city – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jbkW-TUevo

Central Myanmar: Mandalay a wonderful city – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLX2N_tTCuE

A guided tour of Mandalay in Myanmar (burma) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwzz1lqFOng

48 hours in Mandalay – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGY-X_QvpgU

Top 10 Things to Do in Myanmar / Burma – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF3Qg6MS9bk

Mandalay, Myanmar in 4K (Ultra HD) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow1ysPtzQG0

Royal Palace – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVw8KgLnH4w&index=3&list=PL6yQCcoM0ZPy6xPY550UWTn9M8zfU9xDR

Visiting Mandalay Palace – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7AS9paAvdc&list=PL6yQCcoM0ZPy6xPY550UWTn9M8zfU9xDR

My Golden Years Travel – Mandalay Palace 11 March 2013 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG-kCiHXXg4

My Golden Years Travel – Mandalay Royal Palace 11 March 2013 Part 2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmNzuHpqhjE