AROUND THE WORLD SOLO
“A dream doesn’t become reality
through magic; it takes sweat,
determination and hard work”
HELP TRAVIS MAKE HISTORY AND A NEW AVIATION WORLD RECORD IN 2021
Travis Ludlow is a 17 year old schoolboy who has been flying since he was 13. He became the UK’s youngest glider pilot at 14 and the youngest certified PPL pilot at 17. His dream, since the age of 10, is to become the youngest pilot to fly around the world. He has never let go of that dream.
THE WHOLE STORY
Circumnavigating the Earth is not an easy task and requires extensive preparation, planning and training.
What is considered global circumnavigation? Crossing all meridians is not considered global circumnavigation. If you walk completely around either Pole, you have crossed all meridians, but this is not generally considered a circumnavigation. A basic definition is a route which covers at least one great circle, and it passes through at least one pair of points of antipodal to each other.
What are requirements for circumnavigation by airplane?
- The route should start and finish at the same point.
- It should cross all meridians. The course must be at least 22,858.729 miles (36,787.559 kilometers) long. This is length of Tropic of Cancer.
- It must include set control points at latitudes outside the Arctic and Antarctic circles.
The UK has a long list of world aviation records with many British pilots achieving word firsts in long distance flight, including;
- John Alcock, who in 1919 flew nearly 2000 miles to become the first person to fly across the Atlantic.
- Amy Johnson, who in 1930 flew 11,000 from England to Australia.
- Sheila Scott who broke over 100 world records from 1966 to 1971, which included three flights around the world, accumulating in a 34,000 mile “World and a Half” flight in 1971.
Since the first solo flight in 1929, there have been only 77 people in the whole of aviation history to fly around the world in a single-engined aircraft. Surprisingly only six of those have been British pilots.
Currently, the youngest British pilot to fly around the world was the amazing Judith Chisholm who, at 33, broke 28 world speed records in her solo round-the-world flight.
Of the 7.4 billion people on Earth, 4000 people have climbed Mount Everest and 500 people have been in Space. Of the 77 pilots that have flown around the world solo in a single-engined aircraft, only 4 of them have been under the age of 20.
Incredibly, the first solo flight around the world was made by a 21 year old German noble, Baron F.K. Koenig-Warthausen. Who with only a few hours flying experience, he flew from Berlin to Moscow and just continued around the world.
A new Guinness World Record has been set by 18 year old American, Mason Andrews. He set off from Monroe, Luisiana on July 22nd 2018 to fly around the world. his journey took 75 days, and took him in to the Guinness World Records as the youngest pilot to fly around the world at 18 years and 163 days old. Beating the previous record holder, the 18-year-old Lachlan Smart, from Australia, by 71 days.
Travis has now had his record attempt officially recognised and plans to beat the current world record by at least 166 days, at the age of 17.
Travis has always been preparing for this circumnavigation of the world, for a number of years, even though he was never sure his dream would become a reality, he was determined to be ready if it did. He has always been way ahead in his training, he flew his first solo the day after his 16th birthday and passed his PPL months before he could even get his licence.
Until COVID-19 interfered with training. Travis has done his (IR) Instrument Rating training at AeroGuard Flight Training Centre in Phoenix, Arizona and has Night Rating at Pilot Flight Training in Oxford. Both all but done, just the final skills test to do on the IR and one more flight for the Night Rating.
Full details of what Travis has done, and his training schedule can be found here:
Winston Churchill said “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” He is right as there is nothing worse after a long flight than to have to unroll maps in the poor light of a hotel room and prepare for the flight the next day. Travis will needs his rest, so flight plans, and alternative plans, will need to be prepared well in advance. A large envelope with all the flight plans, logging sheets, maps, plates, customs declarations, etc., for each leg will be prepared.
Travis will have a ‘General Declaration’ document (GenDoc) which will fill the role of the crew manifest, passengers manifest, cargo manifest and heath declaration. To make life easier Travis will be met by a handling agent at every airport to help him get clearance in each country.
The same meticulous planning will be used for the route plan. Travis's final route is still to be decided as we do not know how the world is going to change over the next two years.
More information on his route can be found here:
To make this epic journey, Travis needs to raise $300,000. This will allow Travis to get the extra training he needs as well as the special equipment that will allow him to complete the mission safely.
Travis is also looking for experienced pilots with their own aircraft, who have the time to share their experience with him and help give him some flight time. Travis is aiming to log more than 300 hours of flight time before he takes off.
COUNTDOWN TO TAKE-OFF
Travis has already achieved flying success when he became the youngest person, in the UK, to fly a glider solo on his 14th birthday. Even then, on that cold morning in February 2016, he was thinking of the real dream… to fly around the world at 17.
Every kid has a passion for something, for some it’s tanks, trains or tractors, then later it’s computer games, racing cars or football (or all three); for Travis, it was always aeroplanes.
Travis’s love of flying started when he was 4 years old, never going to sleep without reading something from his stack of airplane magazines by his bed. Since then he has watched every program on TV and YouTube to do with flying and can tell you, in detail, the cause of every accident on every episode of ‘Air Crash Investigators’… seriously, if you ever meet him, ask him.
So, he started flying at 13 and has been described by his instructors as a natural pilot. He flew solo the day after his 16th birthday and went on to passed all nine of the ground school exams with half a year to spare. Travis went on to completed his Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) that summer.
Although he had passed, the CAA/law doesn’t allow him to hold a PPL licence until he is 17, so he had to wait until 08.30 on the morning of his 17th birthday to pick up his licence from the CAA. He then flew to the US the next day to do his (IR) Instrument Rating. So Travis will have completed his IR, Night Rating and logging nearly 400 hour, before take-off his take off in April 2021.
You might think; “why Travis, he is only just 17, how do we know he will really do it”? Well Travis has a long and successful history in achieving what he sets out to do and he is more serious about this around the world flight than anything he has ever done before.
And Travis is not taking the task ahead lightly, he is not just getting all the flying qualifications he needs, he is also doing training in all areas of safety for his journey.
But it is not just his commitment to flying, and his early flying success that shows that he is a very dedicated young man, who sets out to achieve whatever he starts.
He started kickboxing at the age of 5 and received his black belt 7 years later, his continued dedication saw him go on to win 5 British Kickboxing Championships, over the next two years, with 4 different governing bodies. He was due to go to the World Championships in 2019 but he chose instead to concentrate on his flying and his plans for this world record flight.
Another fun example, was when his dad bought him an old unicycle off eBay and he taught himself to ride it in three days, then went on to do the Henley Triathlon on it six month later; the first time they had seen a unicycle at the triathlon.
Although Travis’ record attempt has now been officially recognised by the Guinness World Records, it is clear that Travis still has a long way to go to achieve this dream. Rest assured, he will continue to learn until the day he takes off and that without and doubt, he has the right attitude, dedication and commitment to the task ahead.
"No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings"
ABOUT THE PLANE
Travis will fly a specially built 1989 Piper PA-28 Diesel Cadet. This will be the world’s best Piper cadet, rebuilt and refitted by Tatenhill Aviation UK. The aircraft will have numerous upgrades, including a new Continental CD-155 Diesel engine, a new propeller, complete Bendix King Aeroview Touch glass cockpit and avionics including terrain and traffic awareness. The aircraft body will have all the aerodynamic fairings, wheel fenders and LED lighting. The interior seating and new cockpit will be fitted out in quality leather by Coopers Cabin Craft.
There are plenty of good reasons for choosing a Piper PA-28 but none more so than the familiarity - Travis has flown the vast majority of his hours hours in either a PA-28 Warrior, Archer or Cadet. Another big reason, is the fact that it is a Diesel, so much more economical and perfect for this long distance adventure.
Travis will spend his free time working with the team at Tatenhill to help get the aircraft ready for his extraordinary voyage. The dirt under his finger nails has helped build a growing bond between Travis and his aircraft, something that will help when flying long distances 'solo'.
The aircraft brings together components from across Europe and the Americas. The rebuild is expected to be completed in time for the AERO Friedrichshafen air show in Germany in early April and two months before he take-off on his around the world flight.
As well as a new interior and bespoke sponsored paint scheme this plane will be registered in the Channel Islands and will have the registration 2-SOLO... which says it all.
- Continuing Airworthiness / Airworthiness Review
- Scheduled Maintenance
- Defect Rectification
- Airframe / Engine Inspections
- Powerplant Removal & Installation
- Non Destructive Testing
- Pre Purchase Aircraft Survey
- Aircraft Registry Conversion
They have a wide range of aircraft applicability on a multitude of registers ranging from single piston engine aircraft to multi engine turbine aircraft. Their team of experienced engineers are committed to providing the best service available and strive to maintain the highest level of workmanship.
Travis’ aircraft will have five, state of the art, onboard cameras. Four (two external and two internal) of them will be fixed Marshall Cameras, powered off the aircraft fed back to a quad recorder. And one will be a removable GoPro Hero 8 that will be flexible within the cockpit allowing Travis to set it to shoot out of any window.
The two external cameras will be the new Marshal CV200 cameras and will be fitted on the left wing and on the top of the tail (see POV’s).
The two internal cameras will be Marshall CV-503 cameras, one fitted facing Travis and the other fitted behind him, looking over his shoulder.
Media from these cameras will be made available the next day*
*Subject to next location bandwidth and signal strength
“You are only as good as your team.”
OVERFLIGHT, FLIGHT CLEARANCE & LANDING SUPPORT
A venture like this is nothing without the people who are working behind the scenes. While Travis may have big dreams, ultimately it is only with the help of a great team, that he will realise his goals.
We have chosen General Aviation Egypt to support Travis on his around the world flight. G.A.S.E. is a relatively new company, founded in 2010 by Eddie Gould and Hassan Aly, but it has an enviable reputation for providing a first class flight support services for long distance flights and around the world pilots.
Eddie and Ahmed supply and coordinate everything from Permit and overflight clearance approval to handling and fuel arrangements as well as their wonderful G.A.S.E. hospitality in some of the remotest places in the world.
But it is the attention to detail and safety procedures that really convinced us that this was the company to look after Travis during his around the world flight. G.A.S.E. will be in continuous communication with Travis during his flights, whatever time zone he is in, in the world. They will monitor weather and plan alternative flight routes in case of emergencies.
G.A.S.E. have successfully helped a number of record braking around the world flights, including the current youngest pilot to fly around the world, Mason Andrews. In total, Eddie and Hassan have supported 19 around the world flights and were behind Norman Surplus and his recent flight around the world in a Gyrocopter. Their contacts, meticulous planning and due care and attention makes them a perfect support team for Travis's around the world flight.
Having the right team is as important as having the right plane. G.A.S.E. form a major part of Travis' support team and are crucial to the success of his world record challenge.
"Dreams come in a size too big so that we may grow into them."
FLY TO HELP
- Improve the emotional wellbeing of children and adults coping with physical disabilities, distress, anxiety or isolation by arranging experience days centred around flights in small aircraft.
- Encourage young people to consider future careers in the aviation industry by running week-long scholarship programmes and an alumni network.
- Raise the self-esteem and confidence of disadvantaged young people by running taster days and mentoring programmes.
- Enable individuals and organisations with an interest in aviation to participate in and support our work so that more people can benefit.
WE ARE LOOKING FOR A 2ND CHARITY TO HELP
We are looking for a charity who is interested in becoming a charity partner. It is important that the right partnership is a mutually beneficial arrangement.
- For the charity, funding, support and increased visibility
- For the sponsor, brand building, good PR and the chance to “make a difference.”
- We will go the extra mile and deliver contributions over and above our own financial needs.
- We want a charity who understands our dream and sees how our funding and support helps towards their objectives.
Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a charity partner.
"A lot of people have their big dreams and get knocked down and don't have things go their way. And you never give up hope, and you really just hold on to it. Hard work and perseverance. You just keep getting up and getting up, and then you get that breakthrough."
OUR AMAZING SPONSORS
“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”
Douglas H. Everett