141 years ago, Jules Verne published the book “Around the World in 80 Days”. Ever since then, and to this day, quite a few adventurers have embarked on a journey, in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg, to go around the world in many ways and have proven that the world is indeed quite small
Exactly 141 years have passed since the British gentleman, Phileas Fogg, bet his friends from the Reform Club, that he could go around the world in just eighty days. The writer, Jules Verne, wrote all the storylines for this epic journey in his book “Around the World in Eighty Days”, which was released in 1872 and translated into dozens of languages.
Since then, quite a few adventurers have dreamt of make Verne’s story their own, and have embarked on a journey around the world. The first ones to go around the world were the pilots of four Douglas World Cruiser planes, which were built for that very purpose. They set out on their journey on March 17, 1924 from Seattle, USA, and on the way landed in 28 countries and crossed the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It was only after six months and six days that eight crewmembers returned to the starting point in Seattle.
Around the World in Eighty Hours
Perhaps the most remarkable trip around the world was carried out by the late millionaire Steve Fossett. Though during his life, he worked in finance, he became famous mainly for being the adventurous type who broke many Guinness World records. After 2002, when he became the first person to go around the world alone in a hot air balloon, Fossett decided in March of 2005 to challenge himself to a mission that was difficult and no less daring: to go around the world in small plane, nonstop, and without refueling, for eighty hours, if not less.
Fossett’s journey started at five o’clock in the morning GMT, when he took off from the Salina Airport in Kansas. But, the beginning was not what Fossett expected: hours after the plane took off, it lost more than a ton of fuel. The concern increased as the plane approached the crossing point of the Pacific Ocean, where he certainly could not stop and refuel his plane. At 20:30, he decided to cross the Ocean, a decision that could have cost him his life. Fortunately, with the help of the wind, he managed to cross it. “I have a strong jet that puts me in a better position in terms of fuel. I really hope to get to Salina quickly”, he said on a satellite phone to the control room.
After 67 hours and 37,000 kilometers, at 19:48 GMT, Steve Fossett came back to the Salina Airport in Kansas, and became the first person to go around the world in a plane without refueling. In 2007, all his adventures and record breaking came to an end, when he disappeared with his plane, The Bellanca, which took off from Mirington, Nevada. Remnants of the plane were only found a year later, at an altitude of 3,000 meters, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in the Mammoth Lakes, California.
Only 19 Years Old
The last person who managed to go around the world, did so before celebrating his 20th birthday. The Australian pilot, Ryan Campbell, 19, set a new record earlier this month when he became the youngest pilot ever to go around the world. “I thought about the landing a even before I knew for sure that I would set out on the mission”, explained the young Campbell to media outlets. The duration of the young Australian’s journey was similar to that of Fogg in Jules Verne’s story: For 70 days, Campbell went around the globe with the help of a single-engine plane. On his way, he passed over spectacular views and landed in 15 countries around the world.