Once in a dull morning of December 11th 1957 I set out in our single-engined aircraft along the Rein to the south in the direction of Switzerland. The final destination of our landing was beyond the equator…” This is how the famous Berngard Grzhimek started his journey to Africa.
The aircrafts, which we used for the flights around Kamchatka above the active geysers and landed on the giant many kilometers craters of extinct volcanoes, made a very not serious impression. They made an impression as if they were bought in a toy store. The frame of each aircraft seemed to be hurriedly stuck and screwed together from the several dozens of light pipes and square meters of material. Though these aircrafts are assembled as a meccano. But they have a very small quantity of levers, dial-plates and other devices. That’s why it’s very easy to pilot such an aircraft. The heaviest piece of iron on this aircraft is the engine, which was constructed especially for such “Lilliputians”. And nevertheless these are real planes. They can rise to a height of several kilometers and fly at a speed up to 150 kilometers per hour.
We have been on land and underwater expeditions the most part of our life and now we are ready to see the whole world from an eagle’s eye view. Moving towards the sun we’ll make our way to North Canada. Then we’ll cross Greenland, Old Europe and reach the lands of the ancient East through the many countries of Africa. From here the aircrafts’ way will stretch out to the shores of Indonesia and Australia. Having passed the Philippines, Japan and Kamchatka we’ll cross again the American continents and will take the risk and go deep into the immense open space of Antarctica. Our next landing ground will be the South Pole. From the ice heart of Antarctica the pilots will take the course to head home.
The severe winds of five continents will some time hurry up, but sometimes will try to stop our flight. It has been 100 years since the time when some individual brave souls dared to accomplish such a feat. The aircrafts became bigger, more reliable their construction became incommensurable complicated. Electronics began to press on mechanics, and left only rotational impellers of propellers and turbines to an aircraft.
“… At last the day comes when you are presented with the flying certificate. You put it into your wallet and feel like a true pilot. But for some reason no one suspects that and nobody will ask you to show this document:”
And again, like in old times, we decided to hold our heads high into the wind in a badly protected cabin. Only the engine’s power and strong pilot’s hands will pilot a small aircraft along the giant arc around the world.