Before we decide on our route, we need to know how much fuel to carry. But we can’t decide that until we know the distance of our longest leg. Well, the longest leg was going to be Hawaii to California, a total of 2100 miles, plus 2 hour reserve in case there was inclement weather at destination. For that kind of endurance, we would need to at least double fuel capacity from 120 gallons to 240 gallons in our plane. To carry that much fuel, we have three options, replace the wing tip tanks that currently have 20 gallon capacity to a side and replace them with “dolly parton” tanks with 100 gallons on each side or add metal tanks and plumbing to the cabin or buy the TurtlePacs from Australia, which are collapsable tanks that could fill up when needed. Jury is still out on which one we will get and we have a couple of months to decide.
The route currently seems to be : Indianapolis – Bangor - Iceland – UK – France – Turkey – Doha – Pakistan – Sri Lanka – Thailand – Phillipines – Australia – Pago Pago – Christmas Island – Hawaii – California – Texas – Indianapolis….. a total of about 24000 miles and 150-175 hours of flying. This routing will require us to get overfly permits for Greenland, Italy, Greece, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and maybe even Indonesia…. we will also need to pre-arrange for fuel at all of our landing locations.
Another decision that has to be made early is the length of each leg. If we opt for longer legs, then we have 17 flying days to complete this trip and lesser stops means not having to deal with some of the less desirable customs and immigration officials in some of the third world countries. Haris and I need to decide how we want to structure this trip. I want it to be educational and fun for Haris.
Lots of planning and not much time….