DHL supports James Ketchell on his historic flight around the globe
If successful, the gyrocopter will be the last type of aircraft in existence to complete a global circumnavigation.
- British serial adventurer is attempting solo global circumnavigation in open-cockpit gyrocopter
- DHL Express to provide backup support with its worldwide network and aviation expertise
- Ketchell wants to inspire children with pursuit of world record
Bonn - James Ketchell (37) began an attempt to make aviation history on March 31 as the first person to circumnavigate the globe solo in an open-cockpit gyrocopter. As the leading international express service provider, DHL Express is supporting the world record-setting flight along the nearly 23,000-nautical-mile way to the record books. This undertaking is also part of a series of events marking the 50th anniversary since DHL's founding in San Francisco in 1969. Ketchell's journey, which has begun in England, may take up to one year before his final return to the country. Stops will include numerous speaking events at schools and visits to several DHL hubs around the world. If successful, the gyrocopter will be the last type of aircraft in existence to complete a global circumnavigation.
"James' life story is an inspiring tale of starting small and achieving ever greater feats through hard work, bravery and sheer determination," explains John Pearson. "In 2019, we are marking the 50th year since DHL was founded by three entrepreneurs with a bold, groundbreaking idea. As we look back on our own journey from a disruptive startup to a global logistics leader, we are celebrating the same values that James embodies. He will have to battle the elements in his open-cockpit gyrocopter as he traverses the globe. He'll literally have to go the distance, no matter what obstacles or unexpected events occur. At DHL Express, we practice the same can-do spirit as we tirelessly deliver express shipments to our customers in every corner of the world, every day."
DHL Express has also grown into a major aviation player over the years, thus making the partnership with Ketchell a natural fit. DHL Express currently has the world's largest air cargo network and announced in 2018 the purchase of 14 Boeing 777 freighters with the option of seven additional planes to strengthen its intercontinental fleet.
During the global expedition, Ketchell will fly through temperatures ranging from +40C to -20C and cross open water for up to six hours at a time. His journey began in England and will continue through Europe, Asia and North America before coming full circle in England. Along the route, Ketchell will visit schools to inspire and motivate students while raising money for two children's charities, Kindled Spirit and Over the Wall.
"I want to inspire children by helping them understand there is always a route to your goals," says Ketchell. "I'm a normal lad who was a lonely teenager. Leaving the house was a struggle, and I was depressed. Now I know anything can be achieved, and I want to help other teenagers understand there are few barriers to achieving your dreams."
The historic circumnavigation is being attempted in a MAGNI M16C open cockpit tandem gyrocopter. The gyrocopter travels at just 70 knots and has a range of just 700 nautical miles. Ketchell is a serial adventurer and the only person to have achieved the triple feats of rowing the Atlantic, climbing Everest and circumnavigating the globe on a bicycle.
The World route at a glance:
England, France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Alaska, Canada, USA, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Orkney Islands, Scotland, Northern Ireland, England