"A dream doesn’t become reality through magic;
it takes sweat, determination and hard work"

Colin Powell


The previous video was made out of date by the Carona virus outbreak, an updated video is currently in production.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.


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.


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 early 2021, still at the age of 17 and still beating the record by two months.

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.

Travis is dedicating this twice around the world, first East, then West, world record flight to the memory of Hans George Schmid, who sadly died in a plane crash in 2007.

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, he was determined to be ready if it did. Travis 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.

The delay from his initial departure date of June 2020 to early 2021 has allowed him to get more hours logged and get some additional advanced flight training. He is now on target to log 400 hours before he takes off on his around the world flights.

Training for his 2nd around the world flight will be done during his first around the world flight ☺

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.” 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, 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 his second around the world flight. Travis's second route is still to be decided as we do not know the route once he leaves Oshkosh on August 1st 2021. We also don’t know how the world is going to change over the few months.

More information on his route can be found here:


For Travis to make these two epic, world record journeys around the world (first East, then West); we will have to raise $500,000. Already we have raised over twice this amount and this has helped Travis to get the aircraft ready, the extra training he needed and the all special equipment that will allow him to complete the mission safely.

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 donate via our different funding routes; a percentage of every donation goes to a partner charity Unicef.

Please help Travis achieve his goals and these amazing World Records and donate or get in touch now. Thank you.




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.

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 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. So Travis will have completed his IR, Night Rating and logging over 400 hours, before take-off his take off in early 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 these two around the world flights, 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 has also done 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, with 4 different governing bodies, over the next two years. In fact, Travis was due to go to the 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.

The 2nd circumnavigation world record was not part of his original plan but Covid-19 has meant that Travis was to return to the US immediately after his first circumnavigation. After his commitment in the US, he will have already travelled over a third of the around the world; so he asked “do I fly back the way I have come or do I continue West and return home the long way and complete another around the world flight”

Travis’ history should tell you, there was only ever going to be one answer.

"No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings"

William Blake



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 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 Air Interiors Elstree London.

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.

Tatenhill Aviation Ltd is a fully CAA/EASA & FAA approved aircraft maintenance organisation. They carry out a host of services including:

  • 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.”

Dominique Wilkins


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
Find Out More

Travis' current flying hours logged 212 hours

Target hours, before take-off 400 hours

Partner Charity

I am proud to support UNICEF as my partner charity. I am in awe of the great things that they do around the world and I am very proud to be involved in such a great cause. UNICEF works in the world’s toughest places to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents – and to protect the rights of every child, everywhere. Across more than 190 countries and territories, they do whatever it takes to help children survive, thrive and fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.
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

Support Charities

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."

Robert Kraft



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