FLYING SOLO AROUND THE WORLD
YOUNGEST SOLO PILOT WORLD RECORD
TAKE-OFF MAY 29th 2021
The previous video was made out of date by the Carona virus outbreak, an updated video is currently in production. Until then, here is a video of Travis at 14, flying a glider.
HELP TRAVIS MAKE HISTORY AND NEW AVIATION WORLD RECORDS IN 2021
Travis Ludlow is an 18 year old schoolboy who has been flying since he was 12. 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, was to become the youngest pilot to fly around the world. He has never let go of that dream.
THE WHOLE STORY
Any circumnavigating the earth is not an easy task but doing it twice, solo 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 kilometres) long. This is length of Tropic of Cancer.
- And it must include set control points at latitudes outside the Arctic and Antarctic circles.
Incredibly, the first solo flight around the world was made by a 21 year old German noble, Baron F.K. Koenig-Warthausen. Who in 1929, with only a few hours flying experience, flew from Berlin to Moscow and just continued around the world.
In 2018 a new Guinness World Record was set by 18 year old American, Mason Andrews, who set off from Monroe, Luisiana on July 22nd 2018 to fly around the world. His journey took 75 days, and beat the previous record holder, the 18-year-old Lachlan Smart, from Australia, by 71 days.
Travis was due to take off in June 2020 at the age of 17 and 109 days, had it not been for the COVID pandemic, he would have beated the current world record by nearly a year. Now Travis will now take off in May 2021, at the age of 18 and still in time to beat Masons record.
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 but only 1 person has ever flown around the world twice in the same year.
Of course, there have been pilots that have flown solo around the world more than twice. The amazing Henning Huffer from Germany, has flown around the world solo five times from 1972 to 1983 but none were back to back. American CarolAnn Garratt has flown around the world three times, 2003, 2008 (fastest ATW, non-Solo flight) and 2011. The legendary pilot Wiley post flew twice around the world, once in 1931 (not solo) and then in 1933 (solo), while fellow American Bob Gannon flew around the world twice from 1992 to 2002.
Only one pilot has ever flown around the world twice, back to back and that was the great Swiss pilot and aircraft designer, Hans Georg Schmid, who had 16000 as an airline pilot and was the holder of some 160 world records.
Because of Travis’ commitments to Sponsors and UNICEF, Travis may well fly bac to the US after his around the world flight. This will put him on the West coast of the United States, when he is due to come home. He is leaving his option open, as to which way he returns home. Continuing West would make him, only the 2nd person to fly twice around the world, first East, then West. Watch this space.
Travis has been preparing for this circumnavigation of the world for a number of years, even at the age of 13, when he was never sure his dream would become a reality but he was determined to be ready if it did.
Travis has always been way ahead in his training, he had his first gliding lesson at the age of 12 and flew solo on his 14th birthday. Due to bad weather on his 16th birthday, he had to wait until the day after o fly his first solo but he went on to pass his PPL months before he could even get his licence.
He flew to the US the day after picking up his PPL Licence, on his 17th birthday, to do his IR training with AeroGuard Flight Training, after completing his IR he then completed his night rating back here in the UK.
The delay from his initial departure date of June 2020 to May 2021 has allowed him to get more hours logged and get some additional advanced flight training. He is now on target to log over 350 hours before he takes off on his around the world flight.
Winston Churchill said “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” And he is right. It has taken two years of planning to prepare for Travis first around the world flight, from the details of each stop on route to flight plans and rest stops. There is nothing worse after a long flight than to have to spend hours preparing for the flight the next day. Travis will needs his rest, so flight plans, and alternative plans, have been prepared well in advance. A large envelope with all the flight plans, logging sheets, maps, plates, customs declarations, etc., for each leg is being 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 has two Overflight Companies, who will look after him during his flight and help prepare for what he requires on the ground at each stop. These two companies are G.A.S.E., who cover the rest of the world and MAK Aviation Russia, who cover Russia.
More information on his route can be found here:
For Travis to make this epic, world record journey around the world; he will have to raise $500,000. He has raised well over half this amount but, unfortunately much of that went into his training and his first aircraft (the PA-28, which was damaged by the CAMO/maintenance company who were in charge of it.
Even though Travis has been very lucky with his support and sponsorship, he is still short of his target requirement. If you are interested in helping Traves, there are a number of great sponsorship opportunities that we would be happy to discuss with you. Alternatively, you can get involved in our VIP Friendship Club or Donate via our GoFundMe page.
Your Sponsorship or other support, will go a long way to helping Travis achieve his goals and securing this amazing World Record. Please remember at least 10% percent of every donation goes to a partner charity Unicef.
COUNTDOWN TO TAKE-OFF
Take-off date changed to 29th May 2021 due to Covid
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.
Unfortunately, due to COVID Travis was not able to take-off as planned, in June 2020 but he has continued training and is still set to beat the current world record.
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.
He had his first gliding lesson at the age of 12 and throughout his glider and PPL training he was often described by his instructors as a natural pilot. Travis 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, months before he could legally his licence.
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 8am 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. After completing his IR he returned to the UK to complete his Night Rating and is now well on the way to logging the 350+ hours he wants before take-off.
Many people have asked “why Travis, he is very young, 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 world record flight, than anything he has ever done before.
And Travis is not taking the task ahead lightly, it is not just about getting all the flying qualifications he needs, he has also done training in all areas of safety for his journey as safety is the main priority.
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, with 4 different governing bodies, over the next two years. In fact, Travis was due to go to the WAKO World Championships in 2019 but he chose instead to concentrate on his flying, and his plans for these world record flights.
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 months later; that was the first time they had seen a unicycle at the triathlon.
Although Travis’ was disappointed that his world record flight has delayed by Covid-19, this only motivated him more and has allowed him to get many more hours and much more, valuable, flying experience.
Now Travis will take-off, even more prepared, on May 29th 2021
"No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings"
ABOUT THE PLANE
Travis will fly be flying a fully equipped 2001 Cessna 172R, that has been prepped and updated, especially for this long distance world record by Hanger-One Technics & Avionics in The Netherlands. The aircraft will have numerous upgrades, including the latest avionics and safety equipment. The aircraft body will have all the aerodynamic fairings, wheel fenders and WAT LED lighting.
There are plenty of good reasons for choosing this Cessna 172R but none more so than the safety aspect of the aircraft. The Cessna 172R has long been classed as the safest single engine aircraft ever built. Another big reason, is the fact that it has a Diesel engine, which is so much more economical and perfect for this long distance adventure.
Travis will have basic maintenance knowledge of his aircraft but as the most produced aircraft of all-time (44,000 since 1956), there are very few aviation maintenance facilities, worldwide, that haven’t had experience with a 172.
Hanger-One Technics & Avionics are based in the Netherlands and have offered unparalleled aviation services to a wide variety of costumers, from a private owner to large commercial operators, for over 40 years
Their experienced engineers hold EASA and/or FAA aircraft maintenance licences, with years of experience in both large and small aircraft. Their excellent reputation for maintenance, management and service, along with their state of the art 2000 square meter maintenance workshops in Teuge and Lelystad, means that they have customers from all over the Europe and the UK for their services.
So if you love your aircraft, like we do and want it checked, serviced or have a major upgrade then bring it to the people that will look after it and you.
God knows I wish I had come to these guys in the first place.
Travis’ media coverage is very important to him and his sponsors. His aircraft will be equipped with the latest state of the art minicamera equipment, supplied by Prime Television, in the UK.
The C172 will be equipped with five, hi-tech HD Cameras (two external and three internal). These cameras will be fed back to a quad recorder that will allow Travis to record up to four cameras at any one time, or any combination. Travis will also have a portable camera to film through the window.
The photos and video from these cameras will be transferred back to the home media base (in the UK) and 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.
Travis' current flying hours logged 262 hours
Please help me help them by donating now
Your donation will help me reach my target budget for my double circumnavigation and two world records.
10% of all donation will go to UNICEF.
Note: Once I am fully funded for my journey, 100% of all donations will go to UNICEF
Fly2Help is an aviation charity dedicated to raising the spirits of people, young and old, living in difficult personal situations and inspiring young people as they consider their future lives. I am passionate about this charity, it was founded by like-minded pilots who wanted to help people that really needed a lift.
I am delighted to support them and help them with all the great things they do.
Here is a big shout out to everyone around my age, or anyone from 16-30… there are people out there that need you… we can save their lives. That’s why I have put my name on the Stem Cell registered. I have partnered with Anthony Nolan to help promote the stem Cell Register which helps give people with blood cancer a second chance at life.
Please join me on the register and Register now.
"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."
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“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