Breaking World Records – RAF Centenary Flight of the Navigator


Solo circumnavigation of the earth in any aircraft is a difficult feat.  The vast distances, extremes of climate and terrain are compounded by sparsely populated regions where airfields and fuel are either non existent or in short supply.  However, completing this exploit in an aircraft that is built in a garden shed, weighs less than half a family saloon and is designed to break the British and World Records takes these challenges to a whole new level.

Group Captain Mark Manwaring – a Royal Air Force fast jet navigator – is planning to complete the RAF Flight of the Navigator in 2019. Work commenced on building a highly modified Van’s RV-7 aircraft in January 2014.  During the 5-year build, the aircraft will be ‘missionised’ for the most challenging elements of the circumnavigation which require it to carry approximately 470 litres of fuel (usually just 159 litres), advanced navigation and communication equipment and survival kit.  The largest additional fuel tanks will replace the right hand seat and footwell and are removable after the event restoring the aircraft’s 2-seater capability.

Van's RV-7

Courtesy of Van's Aircraft Inc