The Stopwatch starts when wheels roll and stops when aircraft comes to rest on the same runway. The rules are simple. You may never fly over the mainland (above the high tide line) or more than 5nm off shore. That makes for a fantastic 1945.3 nautical mile course with over 120 turning points around the UK coast.
The day light slot is from mid June to mid July before the day light becomes too short, its that close. At 120 knots the flight would take 16 hours 15 minutes, with three fuel stops required of 15 minutes or less. Colin must get back before sunset.
This should be a great adventure and quite a spectacle! If successful Colin would set British and World Records, ratified by the FIA. The Lee-On-Solent aviation community - thanks PNGC! - is pleased to support Colin's record attempt. This is very much in keeping with the tradition and spirit of local aviation - Schneider Trophy anyone?
It can be done, but it perhaps with only minutes to spare! Weather will dicate the day of the attempt. Watch this space!
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Added 25th July =====================
Colin was severely restricted by July's weather, forced by the receding days to take a last opportunity on Sunday 19th July. Here is a very brief write-up on what happened...I felt the weather would be better on Sunday 19th July and so flew down to Lee on Solent on a Saturday afternoon
With little sleep, at 4.am I walked into the hangar to be faced with a tail wheel puncture. Not to worry, being an engineer and after preparing for such emergencies, I had brought a spare innertube. Unfortunately I had lent it earlier in the year to a poor soul and he had replaced it with a long valve neck tube not short.I hadn’t checked and it didn’t fit.
Thanks to Kevin, Lee on Solent Portsmouth Naval Gliding Club member who found me the right one. But 20 minutes were lost.
I had caught up those 20 minutes by the first refuelling stop in Dundee due to strong tail winds. I once clocked 154 knots, 177mph, 285 kph ground speed flying at 128 knots indicated.
But going around the top of Scotland it all went wrong. I ran into the bad weather that was forecast and it had rebuilt into quite a nasty depression. Strong head winds, sea fog and low cloud were unpenetratable and it took me an hour to finally orbit Mull and dive in to Oban were I sat watching lashing rain for 3 hours. Once the rain abated I then had to retrace my steps back up past Mull and continue the course. With headwinds still and a big gap beyond Caernarfon, and sun setting, I put down there for the night. Some 1,850 miles flown in a day. Still wasn’t bad.
At first light I flew on to Aberporth, but now all the Military Danger and Restricted areas that had been closed at the weekend, were all virtually active. More flight planning and telephone calls were needed before returning around Cornwall with strong head winds again to Lee on Solent by about 4 in the afternoon. It could definitely be done in a day. I learnt a lot from this attempt.
2167 nautical miles 2494 statute miles 4012 kilometres in 19.45 hours of flight at 110 knot average in just under 36 hours using some 420 litres 96 gallons of fuel. 26 mpg. Not great efficiency figures, but I was canning it all the time…
It was a great adventure, experience, ordeal, call it what you will. It could definitely be done in a day. I learnt a lot from this attempt, and have so many people to thank.