The path of the flight as seen thru Google Earth:
Admittedly, the country in question is Switzerland, this little speck in the middle of Europe? neighbored by Germany, France, Italy and Austria. What?s it shape like? Well, I remember too long time ago at school, the question was asked and the answer obvious: a cow patty! Unfortunately and in opposition to that patty, Switzerland?s contours are really jagged since the mountains played the arbitrator.
So, during CoVid times, since international flights were not possible anymore, I decided on a remake (see text below) round flight of my country of residence.
A couple of considerations for a flight like this:
Choice of route
. I had done a similar flight, though clockwise, on 2 July 2009 with my Falco HB-UOD and remembered some of the pitfalls. 3 major airports, namely Basel BSL, Geneva GVA, and Z?rich ZRH, sit more or less on the border. The choice is either to negotiate flying thru their airspace with ATC (which can be very though to impossible here in Europe), stealth flying, or circumnavigation.
, obviously the important factor. More than 40 years of criss-crossing the Alps taught me plenty of things, and I?m still learning. The most important is Respect. Clouds, visibility and winds are major players.
. More than half of the trip is flown around 10-13K feet. Not carrying oxygen means self assessing one?s state of fitness. Accelerations is another major factor. The only straight lines are over Lake Geneva and Lake Constance. The rest is a grueling serie of hard turns, every few seconds, most of them pulling around 3-4Gs, as required to try to follow the jagged contours of the map as closely as possible.
. Of course the RV is the perfect aircraft for a flight like this, wouldn?t dare to write anything else on here anyway
Unfortunately and despite using my usual sedate settings of 19?/2000, the max endurance is around 7 hours, which meant I had to land somewhere for fuel. Lugano LSZA sits very close to the Italian border, is about half-way round, an expensive but friendly place.