Slowly, the old rules of navigation are changing, and one of the oldest, which dates back before the days of sailing ships, is the rule about magnetic variation and compasses: “Variation East, Magnetic Least; Variation West, Magnetic Best.” That means, for example, that if you’re flying out of Presque Isle, Maine, and want to fly due west, you need to turn onto a compass heading of 290 degrees, because up there, the local variation is 20 degrees West and the variation rule says “West is best.” That is, adding magnetic to true makes it a bigger number, or “best.” But to fly due west o
Aziz Ojjeh, vice president and one of the owners of Luxembourg-based TAG Group Holdings, is planning to set a new record for an around-the-world flight over the poles in the company’s Bombardier Global Express (HB-JEX). Planned for November so that airfields in Antarctica are available for emergency use, the flight will depart from and return to Farnborough Airport in England, and make five refueling stops.
Pilots Jennifer Murray, 66, and Colin Bodill, 56, completed their record-setting VFR pole-to-pole round-trip flight from Fort Worth on May 23 in a Bell 407. The pair took 171 days to complete the feat and posted an average speed of just over nine miles per hour. Even at that modest pace, the flight was one for the record books as no one has completed a pole-to-pole helicopter journey before.