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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Unique 8,000 mile vintage bi-plane aviation adventure across Africa launched

Vintage bi-planes are travellin 8,000+ mile on a unique aviation adventure across Africa. There are a number of teams from across the world taking part in the 'Vintage Air Rally' (VAR).  It is recreating the pioneering days of flight from the 1920s testing the pilots skills and aircraft to the limit while raising funds for charity. The teams are attempting the crossing of 10 countries in 37 stops and 35 days and joining them will be the bi-plane feature in the 'Out of Africa' movie. .    

Such a large gathering of antique aircraft has never been done before, flown so far across Africa or landed at the Giza pyramids - first time in 50 years!. These 20's era aircraft make for arduous and unique flying and navigation challenges as their open cockpits expose the aircrews to the elements over such a long distance. The biplanes are also functioning at their maximum range for some legs of the journey. In addition the weather, geography & political climate is tseting the pilots and the support crews to the limit.

Pedro Langdon, Canada flies his Travel Air 4000 past Lancing College, Sussex, England in prepartion for the 8,000 mile Vintage Air Rally across Africa 10 Oct 2016 (Photo Worldreach)
Flying low following the contours of the land the pilots are guided by major geographic features such as the River Nile, the Ethiopian Highlands and Victoria Falls. To bring this project to fruition the organisers, Prepare2go*, have been working closely with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). The event is also supported by HM Government’s 'GREAT Britain' campaign who have helped to bring this launch and rally to fruition. While travelling this adventure will be raising funds for UNICEF, Bird Life International and Seed Bombing.

Other human interest points to note:
  1. Participants will be sleeping on the sand by the Nubian pyramids in Sudan, under wing in tents in South Africa, on river boats on the Nile in southern Egypt.
  2. They will be engaging with local schools at many locations that are doing projects and competitions about the Rally. Some competition winners will be taken flying!
  3. Oldest plane is 88 years old, oldest pilot is 72 years old and youngest pilot is 18 years old.
  4. There are two Father and daughter teams, a father and son team, an entire family team, husbands and wives, buddies and solo!
Prepare2go has many years experience of similar events having already successfully flown groups in aircraft, modern and some vintage, on this route eight times in the last seven years. The team is lead by Sam Rutherford who been on trans-Africa trips over 15 times, either in planes, helicopters, or land rovers. He also helped coordinate the G-AAMY flight of solo aviatrix Tracey Curtis-Taylor last year. Sam and the Prepare2Go team specialise in access to remote, sensitive, or seemingly-impossible locations around the world. In support of this he has built a network of reliable contacts across Africa over years of travel and exploration.

Media enquiries to worldreachpr@gmail.com

Here are some links to media coverage we achieved:
Daily Telegraph

BBC World Service (audio)

Euronews

Gulf Times

China Post


Newsblad
http://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20161114_02570882

Sputnik news (Russian international news service) 

Even Cuba

Egyptian media in Arabic
The Observer newspaper / Guardian website


Channel News Asia


Mailionline 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3930408/Vintage-biplanes-attempt-Greece-South-Africa-imperial-route.html

Metro (US)

Yahoo news (US)
https://www.yahoo.com/news/vintage-biplanes-attempt-greece-south-africa-imperial-route-191451380.html

Business Insider

Top Aussie new site 
http://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/vintage-biplanes-race-across-africa/news-story/78e866b86299fe8e20137fcb5415285f

eNews Channel Africa pan Africa website
http://www.enca.com/life/travel/vintage-airplanes-take-off-for-race-through-africa

The Australian