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Eric Lavorel

Jean Passepartout Appreciation Society

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This honourable french association has decided to rent an Airbus A350 (no less !!) for its 150 members, all eager to do the famous 80 days RTW but not to spend their time sitting in an airplane. They want to visit the places also !! ;)

Here are the projected routes :

1- London -> Suez : EGLL (London Heathrow) - LIPZ (Venezia) - LGAV (Athens) - HEPS (Port Said) ; Distance (NM) : 607 + 690 + 572

2 - Suez -> Mumbai : HEPS - OEJN (Jeddah) - OYAA (Aden) - OOSA (Salalah) - OOMS (Muscat) - VABB (Mumbai) ; Distance : 684 + 627 + 583 + 458 + 860

3 - Mumbai -> Calcutta : VABB - VECC (Calcutta) ; Distance : 900

4 - Calcutta -> Hong-Kong : VECC - VYYY (Yangon) - VTSP (Phuket) - WSSS (Singapore) - VVCR (Cam Ranh) - VHHH (Hong-Kong) ; Distance : 554 + 541 + 526 + 707 + 673

5 - Hong-Kong -> Yokohama : VHHH - ZSPD (Shanghai) - RJTT (Tokyo Haneda) ; Distance : 677 + 940

6 - Yokohama -> San Francisco : RJTT - UHSS (Sakhalin) - UHPP (Petropavlovsk) - PADK (Adak) - PADQ (Kodiak) - PAJN (Juneau) - CYVR (Vancouver) - KSFO (San Francisco) ; Distance : 693 + 714 + 911 + 903 + 571 + 682 + 695

7 - San Francisco -> New York : KSFO - KRKS (Rock Springs) - KOMA (Omaha) - KORD (Chicago) - KEWR (New-York Newark)

8 - New York -> London : KEWR - CYQX (Gander) - EINN (Shannon) - EGLL (London Heathrow) ; Distance : 968 + 1722 + 322


NOTA : for steps 6 and 8, of course, direct transoceanic routes are possible with this plane but quite tedious and uninteresting. Given that we have a lot of time, it will be more fun to add some exotic calls, even if it is not the route followed by Phileas Fogg's ship... For the rest, I tried to stay close to the original routes but I need at least 2300 m to land the plane safely and I prefer to avoid flights more than 3-4 hours long.


Technical data :

X-Plane 11 on MacOS 10.12 (iMac 27") ; A350 by Flight Factor (Class : Modern, of course !) ; VATSIM or off-line ; 1 pilot (me !)

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People tend to forget that while the Wright brothers made the first serious flights, it was the French who they build on and the French who picked up the Wright brothers progress best.


Funny fact, go to the (fantastic, seriously) Museum of Aviation in Paris and see how they explain the invention of flight. Spoiler, the Wright brothers ARE mentioned.

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BTW... you get a free download for 'Jean Passepartout Appreciation Society". Contact me on to get it.

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First leg of this RTW trip : London Heathrow (EGGL) to Venezia Tessera (LIPZ).

Departure 0715Z on Oct. 3rd. Arrival 0845Z on the same day. Cloudy during the flight, with a very dense fog on arrival, but the weather will sure improve for the 142 passengers to visit Venice !!

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The passengers were unhappy with their stay in Venice, too much people, tourists clearly unwelcome, so we decided to continue our journey to Athens, cradle of democracy !! ;-)

2nd leg : Venezia Tessera (LIPZ) to Athens Eleftherios Venizelos (LGAV)

Departure : 1240Z on Oct. 3rd ; Arrival : 1430Z on the same day

Still cloudy but a clear view on Greeks mountains and arrival.


Departure from Venice (it's the Air France A350 in the middle being pushed back).



And here are the Greek mountains, seen from FL350, just before beginning descent to Athens.


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5 hours ago, Eric Lavorel said:

First leg of this RTW trip : London Heathrow (EGGL) to Venezia Tessera (LIPZ).

Departure 0715Z on Oct. 3rd. Arrival 0845Z on the same day. Cloudy during the flight, with a very dense fog on arrival, but the weather will sure improve for the 142 passengers to visit Venice !!

And I forgot to join the pictures :


Early morning in London Heathrow.



Good bye, England, see you in 80 days !!!


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3rd part of the London - Suez trip : Athens (LGAV) -> Port Said (HEPS).

Duration 1h35m from 1230Z to 1405Z.

Weather rather nice and some beautiful spots for the passengers. Now, they are planning an extensive tour of Ancient Egypt marvels and we will resume our flight next week !!

Here are some more pictures :


Departure from Athens



After take-off



A nice view of Santorin



Egypt, here we come !!



Above Alexandria



And the last turn before approach at Port Said


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On Tuesday 10th, we continue our journey. Today will be Port-Said (HEPS) to Jeddah (OEJN)

Departure on late afternoon with a night arrival in Jeddah. Hope we can visit Mecca !!

Here are some pictures :


Before departure from Port-Said, the plane is loaded :



After take-off, we will follow Suez Canal...



then fly over Cairo (Can anyone spot the Pyramids ?)...



After that, we will fly over the middle part of Egypt, which is quite a desert when you go away from the Nile...



and then cross the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, the sun is setting down with beautiful colors... Sorry for the chemtrails ;-)



A night arrival in Jeddah...



And it's time to intercept the ILS approach, with the city lights below...



And, finally, the landing in Jeddah (OEJN) on runway 34C. (Sorry, no specific scenery this time !!!)


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New leg on this Thursday, October 12th : Jeddah (OEJN) to Aden (OYAA)

A bit less than 2 hours flight, first over the Red Sea then over Yemen and its mountains.

No METAR available in Aden, no ATC, but like Phileas Fogg, the Jean Passepartout Appreciation Society will not run away from difficulties !! So we decided to land and we did !!

Anyway, il is still a war area here and I'm afraid we won't stay very long in this place...


Some pictures, as usual now :


Departure from Jeddah (OEJN)



Then we will follow the coastline of Red Sea for a short time



After flying in the middle of Red Sea for nearly 1 hour, we head to Yemen on a roughly SE course. Good bye to Saudi Arabia when passing over Jizan before crossing the border.



Don't rush the descent, there are some rather high mountains before reaching Aden (minimum flight level is FL150 until 26 NM from the airport, and FL120 until 18 NM !!!)


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Today, Friday 13th, was a good day to leave Yemen in the early morning (0600Z). Fortunately, we were not the target of a SAM missile and landed safely in Salalah 1h40 later, where we will take a week-end rest.


Departure from Aden



And here we are, en route to Salalah (OOSA) at FL 320, nice weather all along the flight.



Imagine what is below : desert !!



And, apart desert : more desert !!! ;-)


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October 17th, another flight above arabic desert, from Salalah (OOSA) to Muscat (OOMS). About one hour and half to get there, with a mountainous approach. 


Departure from Salalah



Flying over the desert again...



As this is a rather short flight, we will climb at FL320 only.



Beginning descent towards Muscat



Approach over the mountains at FL120



And final on rwy08 at Muscat


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And, finally, today, Oct. 19th, was the last leg of this second part of the RTW trip : Muscat (OOMS) to Mumbai (VABB).

Flight over the sea, with a very nice weather. Arrival at night at Mumbai where we will stay until next week and enjoy some tourism in West India !!

This time, we had 241 passengers on board, the 99 extra were also bound to Mumbai but their plane had a technical problem and they were very happy to find us !! We too, so it covered a part of our expenses ;-) !!


After take-off from Muscat



And we climb to FL410, following our SID...



This time, we will fly above the sea...



at FL410.



Sunset light in the cockpit...



And arrival at night at Mumbai...



Some difficulties before landing rwy 27... Wow, these buildings were very close !!!



And, finally, taxiing to the gate.



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Monday, Oct. 23rd, direct flight from Mumbai (VABB) to Calcutta (VECC) : 905 NM, 2 h 20m across India. Haze in Mumbai on departure, dense fog on arrival in Calcutta but, fortunately, the ILS on rwy 19R was OK !!

Again, 100 extra passengers this time, also very happy to fly on a modern and comfortable aircraft with well known French cuisine !!

Not very spectacular pictures this time, mainly because of high cruise level (FL 410). Still, we had a very good 30 kts rear wind, and a GS of more than 500 kts most of the time !! :D 


Well, not so clear to take-off !! ;)



Anyway, here we go !!



Across India...



... at FL 410.



And beginning descent to Calcutta. No pictures after this one due to very poor visibility before landing and, under such circumstances, you rather concentrate on piloting the aircraft than taking grey pictures...


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Friday, Oct. 27th, first leg of the trip from Calcutta to Hong-Kong : Calcutta (VECC) to Yangon (VYYY) in Burma. 800 NM, 2h 15m flight at FL410. Haze, as usual, on departure and a very surprising arrival pattern at Yangon : instead of descending to intercept directly (more or less) the ILS approach, you have to fly over the airport and go SouthEast for 120 NM (yes, 120 NM !!!) and come back !!! This is absolutely CRAZY !!!! Sure, this came from the twisted mind of some paranoid general...


Push-back in the haze in Calcutta



And take-off, on runway 19R !



Departure AVPOP 2D



A brief passage over Bangladesh



And soon appears the Burmese coastline



Now, here is this nonsense of POXEM 1E arrival (see the screens !). Part 1, with the airport on your right. We are still at FL410 because still 240 NM to go !!!



And part 2, where you do a U turn and come back where you came from !!!



Only after that, let's begin finally our descent to Yangon !! 




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Today, Saturday 28th, take-off from VYYY to Phuket (VTSP) in Thailand, but, due to a technical incident (crash of XP11 !), we had to return to Yangon. We'll fly again tomorrow.

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Sunday Oct. 29th. 

OK, this time, we're leaving Burma for good ! 1h 45m of flight to reach Phuket in Thailand (VTSP) @ FL 350. Haze for departure (seems to become a habit !!), rather cloudy during the flight and a thunderstorm to welcome us at Phuket !! Anyway, we will stay a few days and enjoy the well known resorts and beaches. 


Spot the plane in the opposite direction at FL340, bound to Yangon !



Leaving Burma, southbound.



We follow the Thai coastline.



Descent between the cloud layers...



... to finally land on runway 27 at Phuket, with a poor visibility due to the rain !! Sunbathing will have to wait...


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Wednesday, Nov. 1st :

Good bye, Thailand ! Now it's time to continue to Singapore !! The one and only Singapore, one of the nicest and cleanest cities in the world with a continuous effort of the authorities to maintain this reputation. Of course, this comes with a price and the list of things you're not allowed to do in Singapore is impressive, very impressive !! They're even selling T-shirts with a selection of typical forbiddances and how much you will be fined if you're caught (and you can bet on that !!) !!! But, it's there, in Singapore, that, if you are brave enough, you can face one of the greatest challenges in the world : eat a Durian !! (Not in the subway, it's forbidden !!) :D 

Anyway, when you are told that you will stay at The Raffles, you don't hesitate and here we go for another 1h 40m flight from VTSP to WSSS, Changi International, passing above Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur. Quite nice weather, this time, with the exception of a dense fog just before landing. ILS is a great invention, I tell you !!


Push-back at Phuket.



And soon after, climbing up to FL350 with the guidance of Bankgok Center ATC.



Malaysia is not far away. As we cross the border, we say goodbye and thanks to our ATC and continue the flight on our own.



Above Kuala Lumpur...



... and its international airport



Dense fog, just before landing... Can you see the runway ? Well, you should because there are only 3 NM before the threshold and you are still flying at 145 kts...



Despite the fog, nice landing on runway 02C and, finally, taxi to the arrival gate in Changi Airport.


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Sunday, Nov. the 5th : change of route ! Because we wanted more time to visit the big cities, we decided to skip the stopover in Vietnam and headed directly to Hong-Kong (VHHH). 1460 NM, 3h 45m flight, and again an extra complement of 100 passengers. For once, no haze on departure from Singapore and we had the help of a Ground ATC who guided us to runway 20C. Flight at FL400, above the sea... and a sea of clouds ! Very dense trafic on arrival, at least 40 planes connected on the network, most of them flying from Manila to Macau, then to Taipei. Hong-Kong approaches were fully staffed with ATCs, all very busy and very efficient too. Congratulations, gentlemen, you did a very good job !!!

Sorry, guys, not many pictures this time : the A 350 climbs fast and we were very rapidly above the clouds. Anyway, nothing very spectacular when you are above the sea ! And, on arrival, I gave my full attention to the ATC's instructions, especially with the heavy trafic around !!


Pushing back in Changi Intl Airport (WSSS).



And climbing, following the SID MERSING 7B.



Level up at FL 400, Mach 0.84 (ground speed about 475 kts).



A glimpse of Hong-Kong approach : arrival BETTY 2A and ILS approach runway 07L, as per ATC's instructions. (See the final route on the screen in front... and the impressive list of ATCs on line, in the right upper corner !!)



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Very interesting story telling, Eric... Keep going, I'll follow you but not on daily basis :(

Cheers et bon vent


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Thanks so much, Bruno !! I really appreciate !! :D

But don't worry, I'm not flying on a daily basis either so you won't miss much !! ;)

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But indeed, today, Nov. 8th, was flying day : we left Hong-Kong at 1500Z and arrived at Shanghai Pudong (ZSPD) 1h 40 m later. Quiet flight at FL 400, many clouds as usual and, of course, the Chinese smog was waiting for us at arrival. Don't laugh too loud at my pictures : it's only XP 11 default scenery. Sorry, no ORBX for the moment but I've heard they're planning an X-Plane version, which will be most welcome !!!


Our plane at gate before departure.



Taxi to holding point J2 of runway 07R.



After take-off, we follow the SID BEKOL 3A and first, it's a right turn that will lead us over Hong-Kong cities.



A quick good bye to Hong-Kong airport !



Now, we should have a magnificent view of Victoria and Kowloon but that's all we have. (Here, you can laugh, it's ridiculous even if the coastline is quite accurate as far as I remember). It's just for the remembrance of Kai Tak airport (on the left).



A last turn, a last glimpse of Kai Tak, and we're heading North and climbing.



Above Shenzhen.



Chinese countryside below the clouds.



The clouds will dissipate a little as far as we go NorthEast, but not as much as we would have liked...



Hello, Korean 319 (below, at FL344) ! Safe flight to ZGGG (Guangdong), not very far from Hong-Kong, actually !



OK, now it's time to go down !



Fully established on ILS runway 35L. 145 kts, Full flaps, Landing config OK !



And, finally, taxi to gate in Shanghai Pudong. (Yes, I know, I forgot to disarm the ground spoilers...)


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Sunday, Nov. 12th : After spending a few days visiting the city, we took off for a 2 hours flight from Shanghai (ZSPD) to Tokyo Haneda (RJTT), the closest airport to Yokohama. Very nice weather and a strong westerly wind at FL 400, 130 kts, no less, during most of the flight. See the pictures below !

No ATC to guide us this time, except Incheon Center, but we crossed the very south of his airspace at CRZ level (FL400) for a very short time and there was no need for him to contact us. And again, we took 100 extra passengers, all very happy for this unexpected journey !! ;) (including :cheers_s:, of course !!). But not only, because we were lucky enough to fly over Japan with a rather clear sky (except on arrival) and enjoy a very nice view of Japan's southern islands and some famous cities : Nagasaki, Kobe and Osaka, Kyoto and Nara.


At Shanghai, ready for push-back and start-up.



Taxi to runway 17L.



And here we go !! Good bye, Shanghai, it was a really pleasant stay !!



At cruise level (FL400). Check the screen close to the center, on the left, and pay attention to the left upper corner : a 130 kts wind is pushing the plane !! TAS is around 480 kts, as usual, but Ground speed is over 600 kts !!!



Soon, we can see the first western islands of Japan :



Then, Nagasaki.



The modern cities of Osaka and Kobe, with the well-known Kansai Intl Airport, built on an artificial island !!



And right after, the ancient cities of Kyoto and Nara



Japan can be also very mountainous in some parts...



But now, it is time to begin our descent to Tokyo.



With a glimpse of the mighty Fuji Yama, pointing its cone over the assembling clouds. Unfortunately, we won't be able to see more of it. Maybe on departure...



The descent now continues through the clouds.



Fully established on ILS runway 35R



Taxiing to gate at Tokyo Haneda.



Welcome to Japan !! We will stay here a few days before going north to Russia, then Alaska and Canada to reach San Francisco, but this will be the next stories...


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Hello Eric,

welcome in Tokyo.

I am here too since yesterday.... and as I know some other worldflyer are here and preparing the next steps to San Fancisco :)

Greets Heinz

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Hello Eric,

welcome in Tokyo too.

Interesting story flying the FF A350.

Did you observe significally FPS drop downs reaching RJTT ?

I did so landing at Haneda. At the moment I do not know the exact reason why.


Greetings and comfortable flights !


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