June 4, 2020#hobby

Round The World

I wrote at one point on here about finally getting into flight simulation, after years of looking at it from afar. This summer, with a bit of time on my hands before teaching begins, I decided to go full force. I'm going to fly around the world.

My original plan for the first month of summer was an actual vacation in Europe, for the first time. But this pandemic decided otherwise, so I'm stuck at home. Thanks to X-Plane, though, I can still fly around the world (though in slightly lower quality -- Microsoft Flight Simulator isn't quite out yet).

The planning was the longest part. I eventually settled on a list of 60 airports that would take me around the world in mostly mid-length flights, but I juggled between 45 to 60 airports before coming to this plan. The biggest issue was finding airports in each region that could accommodate an airplane I had access to. My favorite to fly is the Boeing 737-800, so I tried my best to find airports that had a runway long enough for it (at least 7000 feet for my comfort, though there are shorter runways that can accommodate that plane). I also wanted to find airlines for each country I was going to land in, to make the experience slightly more authentic by using different liveries. It was either that or a single custom livery that I would use all the time. It just so happened that I wasn't going to fly the B738 every single time, so I decided to go the destination-livery route.

The thing is, this plan is quite intense. I'm hitting the 60 airports over a period of 45 days, ending on the Fourth of July. Whether I'll make it or not, I don't know, because 61A starts on June 22. That means that for about a week, I'll be teaching while doing this as well, but I don't know yet if that's feasible. I'll try to make my next post be on the Fourth of July, so you'll know then if I finished!

I'm excited. I've never had the chance to dive this deep into flight simulation, and whether I finish this plan or not, I'll have a great time flying as much as I can. The first few flights may be hard simply because I haven't gained enough experience flying yet, but I think I'm getting to a point where it'll become mechanical (I don't simulate failures, so it's mostly just learning how to man the wheel at the start and end of the flight as well as programming the autopilot). Looking ahead, I think there's a few places where I'm not going to have access to autoland, so I guess I must step up my autoland game soon. There's also going to be a few places where autopilot routes aren't properly defined, so that should be fun.

I'm going to be using ChartFox to access most charts, as AIPs tend to vary and be complicated. I'm sure there'll be a few airports without available charts, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

See you in the skies!