Welcome to the official site of the Seattle World Cruiser Project. Celebrating the first circumnavigation of the globe by air.
Tis the season!
As 2018 draws to a close, we want to pause to thank everyone that has been following our progress, cheering us on, and volunteering their time and energy to make this such a wonderful year for the Cruiser. We’ve made some tremendous progress this year and are gaining some great momentum as we head towards the new year and new adventures.
Stay tuned as we head into 2019, because as the saying goes, “you ain’t seen nothing yet!”
Happy Holidays to you all,
- Bob & Diane
Project Updates - Autumn 2018
Afloat and Aloft
After much work, preparation, and planning we are happy to report that we have started the seaplane phase of our flight test program. We are very pleased with how she’s flying with the floats, and are anxious to continue putting her through her paces.
Video courtesy of Renton Airport
Bob’s Flight Report from Lake Washington:
“ Our first excursion onto Lake Washington (April 9) was to really work with the basics.
First of all, we had the beaching gear from Edo—that allowed us to tow the plane from our south end shop to the north end seaplane ramp. It required Mitch and I, in waders, to remove the gear after the launching. Of course, this would be an introduction/training for our crew on launching, docking, and retrieving the plane. This was also the first of 6 fuel load tests—so we taxied the plane out into the lake, turning into and away from the wind, plus sailing backwards. We were very pleased with the rudder authority that the new Edo Otter rudders gave us. We retrieved the plane with a flat, wheeled dolly/trailer that we borrowed from our friend, Rex. (He usually has his Cessna 185 on it.)
The only squawk we had was with the intercom which I was able to sort out the next day.
We realized we would have to have a more permanent launching system. James Young turned me on to an ingenious Otter lift platform that Rust’s Air Service, in Anchorage had come up with. I went up to Anchorage Aviation Trade Show and talked to folks about the logistics of going out the Aleutians, and Colin Rust allowed me to photograph and take measurements of their neat solution for a lift platform.
On our second foray onto the water, (September 18) we used the beaching gear for the last time—and it was a real challenge because the level of Lake Washington was at record lows and Mitch and I had to wade out into the mud to get the tail wheels off. By now, the dock crew was well-versed and things went smoothly. This was, also, our second fuel load test, as we are working our way up to full gross.
Out on the lake, we did step-taxiing up and downwind, with full power turns. Finally, it was time for our first flight. The Cruiser accelerated smoothly up onto the step and took off in 25-30 seconds, and we circled around Mercer Island. Our water landing was smooth, solid, and amazingly short.The flight with floats was very stable and the airplane had a rock-solid feel on the step.We used our new Rust-designed lifting rig and Seaplane Scenic’s float truck to bring the plane back to Aerodyne. We can’t say enough about the excellent performance and reliability of the great engine that Dominic Spediacci put together for us. The only squawk we had was radio static, which is understandable, as we were using the old, solid core ignition wire.I’m currently building up a new harness, using a carbon conductor. We will continue our load testing and collecting performance data. For our next time out—Jim Larsen will take some action shots from Brad’s jet boat!”
Thanks to our skilled and dedicated crew of volunteers the Cruiser has been “like a duck to water” with the new pontoons. Many thanks as well to the great folks at the Renton Airport for their continued support of the project.
During our 1996 Super Cub trip we made a stop just north of Okinawa, on the beautiful island paradise of Amami Ōshima. While there, we were fortunate enough to meet and become friends with Motohide and Tomoyo Harada. When we returned home we sent their son, Masahiro, a model of a Douglas World Cruiser.
Now a 19 year old, Masahiro has recently came over from Japan to take pilot training at Hillsboro Aero Academy, in Oregon. We were delighted to visit with him for a few days as we immersed him in all things airplane—of course!
Diane was recently awarded her EXTRA class amateur radio license, which she will use on the World Flight. On October 2nd, Diane KI7USH made her first contact from Seattle World Cruiser World HQ to Mike KA7CSE.
To read about past Cruiser events follow this link: Past News
Set your clocks!
We are thrilled to announce that plans are underway to begin our World Flight on April 6, 2019 to coincide with the 95th anniversary of the original flight. Be sure to check back to get the latest updates about upcoming fundraising events and flight plans!
Cruiser Countdown Clock
Discover what the Seattle World Cruiser World Project is all about and take a look at how the aircraft was put together.