Ben Geoghegan

Round the World BMI 737-800

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Hi Everyone, I’m an avid flight simmer and I love the 737-800 and the PMDG iteration so much that I decided to take it for it a trip around the globe. I used a fictional BMI livery found in the Avsim library with the fictional registration G-BVZX, the real G-BVZX is a single engined GA prop which I wouldn’t want to take around the globe!

To begin with I set off from my local international airport, East Midlands EGNX in G-BVZX. At this time BVZX did not have winglets and was equipped with analog backup instrumentation and used the older Honeywell MCP and had eyebrow windows (which I have kept). My first flight with this iteration of BVZX took me from EGNX to KSWF, Newburgh, north up the Hudson from New York City. I left EGNX using a WAL SID from runway 09 which took me over the M1 motorway and Nottingham, my home city. After around 6 or 7 hours I began descending into KSWF, an airport I know well due to frequent transatlantic flights using the NGX. Arriving at KSWF, I flew over Coney Island and landed on runway 27.

After flying into KSWF, I could either take BVZX to my favourite city in the entire world, Vancouver CYVR, or San Francisco KSFO, as a stopover to get to Honolulu PHNL. This time, I chose KSFO and then flew out over the Pacific, a usual -800 route, unlike my transatlantic and next leg. Whilst at PHNL, the aircraft had winglets fitted, in order to improve the range and climb performance, something useful for one of my future flights.

My next flight was an odd one for the 737-800, a hop from Hawaii to Samoa, PHNL to NSFA. Samoa was the furthest point away from my home airport EGNX on this trip and felt it, Faleolo Intl is only a few hundred metres from the turquoise Pacific Ocean, whereas EGNX is a few hundred metres from the M1 motorway and the nearest oceans are the drab North Sea, Irish Sea and the English Channel.

Whilst in Samoa I decided to make the most of being the furthest from EGNX I probably would ever fly and took a short hop from NSFA to HI36, Tau Village. Tau has a tiny gravel runway that, in FSX, has steep cliffs leading into the ocean either end and a mountain to the east. This was a huge challenge and something I would never attempt in real life. When approaching Tau I slowed the aircraft down to around 120 knots, I had opted for a very light config with little passengers and fuel aboard, when on final I flew a few mere metres above the cliff top and touched down at around 100 knots, I had my spoilers armed and brakes armed at 4 but only managed to stop metres from the end of the runway. I then left Tau after sitting at the side of the runway with my APU running for 10 minutes and bumped my takeoff thrust up to 27K, the limit of my two CFM56s, on takeoff I used flaps 15 and rotated above the cliff top at the opposite end of the runway. That is the most fun I have ever had with my NGX.

After I had arrived back at NSFA, I decided to continue around the world and head home the long way. My next stop was Hamilton Island on Australia’s Gold Coast, still around 6 hours from Falealo Intl in Samoa. Hamilton Island has a tiny terminal next to a ferry port and is a joy to fly in and out of in a 737-800. I approached over the bay that is sheltered by Hamilton and a few other small islands and gently dropped BVZX down onto the runway, a far cry from how I landed in Tau!

My next flight was a short one, YBHM to YBBN, Brisbane, a rather uneventful flight, however, the approach took me over Brisbane’s quieter suburban areas and as I descended towards the runway the city’s skyscrapers grew taller to meet me! I then made a buttery smooth landing and taxied to the gate.

I spent a lot of time planning my next flight, using websites such as Fuel Planner, Airplane Manager and Flight Plan Database. That’s because my next flight would be the longest I have ever and probably will ever take in the NGX. I flew all the way from YBBN to VECC, Kolkata. This flight was around double the range of the -800, even with the winglets I had added in Hawaii, but I added an extremely strong tailwind and removed all payload from the aircraft. The flight took around 13 hours and full tanks of fuel, and adding fuel into the tanks from the FMC to emulate having auxiliary tanks. I had originally planned to fly from either YBHM or YBBN to WSSS Singapore and then on to VABB Mumbai but decided to do something more demanding.

The next flight I took was around half the length, but still required full fuel tanks and was in two legs, this took me from VECC to the worlds most secure airport, LLBG Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv and then back home to EGNX. My only purpose for landing at LLBG was to refuel as I wanted to get back to EGNX as soon as possible. I approached from the west over the Mediterranean and glided over the runway in order to perform another buttery smooth landing. My next leg was LLBG to EGNX, taking me over the Mediterranean, Greece, Eastern Europe, Germany and the Netherlands for around a 5 hour flight back home. I descended over eastern England and past Duxford Aerodrome and then turned north to follow the M1s path to EGNX. I flew past EGNX and continued north, vectoring myself over Nottingham and roughly my house. I also vectored myself over Tollerton Airport, where I hope to learn to fly on a PPL in real life. I then turned south no onto the path of runway 27 where the ILS took over until I took the controls for myself and guided BVZX in for the last landing on our round the world tour, back into EGNX, onto the same tarmac we had left for America on.

After my round the world tour I took BVZX for a few circles around EGNX and had some fun doing circuits of runway 09 and 27. I then decided to fly north for about 45 minutes to Benbecula off the coast of Scotland and back. After flying back from Benbecula I left straight away for Innsbruck, where I flew manually through the valleys to make an approach with some amazing views. At Innsbruck I shut down BVZX for the last time with analog backup instruments and a Honeywell MCP, which I replaced for the next flights with a Rockwell Collins MCP. After flying back from Innsbruck I shut down the aircraft for the day.

My next flight took me to Maribor LJMB in Slovenia which I am currently flying back from as I write this post. When I arrive back at EGNX I will depart for Kerry in Ireland and then on to BGSF in Greenland after Kerry. After BGSF I will visit Vancouver. If you have made it all the way to the end thank you so much for reading and I hope I have inspired you to do something with your flight sim addons.

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