It’s a bit of a political minefield! (Is Taiwan a country? Is Palestine? Should we count places like Greenland?) ! I’m going with the Wikipedia list, which is based on UN membership - this comes to 193 at the moment…
It’s like the one question is that one oil platform that considers itself a tiny country a country?
I got to 243, counting the places with autonomy. However there are varying degrees of autonomy, when is a country a separate country.
In Africa you have Western Sahara and Somaliland that are disputed, Kosovo in Europe, Gaza in the middle east, Bougainville, West Papua, Kurdistan doesn’t exist yet but has a capital (Erbil) and many others want to separate. Then you have autonomous regions in China and Russia, for example the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Korean identity in China.
Pick any list, they’re all wrong
The ISO country list has 249 countries
but that also includes a couple uninhabited territories. You can’t be a country without people!
This is my rough planned trip. They are the stops I plan to tick a country off. But lots if stops in between.
|Country of Departure||Departure||ICAO||Capital||Notes|
|United States of America||Ronald Reagan Washington National||KDCA|
|Bahamas||Lynden Pindling International||MYNN|
|Jamaica||Norman Manley Intl||MKJP|
|Haiti||Port Au Prince||MTPP|
|Dominican Republic||Santo Domingo||MDSD|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||St. Kitts Island||TKPK|
|Antigua and Barbuda||St. Johns||TAPA|
|Dominica||Roseau||TDCF||3rd Dec 2020|
|Saint Lucia||Hewanorra Intl||TLPL||3rd Dec 2020|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||TVSA||4th Dec 2020|
|Barbados||Barbados||TBPB||4th Dec 2020|
|Grenada||St. Georges||TGPY||5th Dec 2020|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Piarco International Airport||TTPP||5th Dec 2020|
|Venezuela||Ciudad Bolivar Airport||SVCB|
|Guyana||Cheddi Jagan Intl||SYCJ||6th Dec 2020|
|Suriname||Zandery||SMJP||7th Dec 2020|
|Brazil||Brasilia||SBBR||7th-9th Dec 2020|
|Rio||SBGL||10th Dec 2020|
|Paraguay||Silvio Pettirossi Intl||SGAS||10th-11th Dec 2020|
|Argentina||Buenos Aires||SAEZ||24th Dec 2020|
|Chile||Santiago International Airport||SCEL||27th Dec 2020|
|Bolivia||El Alto Intl||SLLP||28th Dec 2020|
|Peru||Jorge Chavez Intl Lima Peru||SPJC|
|SPGL||25th Jan 2021|
|Ecuador||Jose J De Olmedo Airport||SEGU||25th Jan 2021|
|SEQM||26th Jan 2021|
|Colombia||Bogota||SKBO||30th Jan 2021|
|Panama||Marcos A Gelabert Intl||MPMG||1st Feb 2021|
|Juan Santamaria Intl||MROC||1st Feb|
|Nicaragua||Augusto Cesar Sandino Intl||MNMG||2nd Feb 2021|
|El Salvador||El Salvador Intl||MSLP|
|Guatemala||La Aurora Intl||MGGT||3rd Feb 20201|
|Belize||Philip S. W. Goldson Intl||MZBZ|
|Mexico||Hermosillo Gen Ip Garcia Airport||various||4th Feb 2021|
|United States of America||KLAX|
|Santa Barbara Municipal||KSBA|
|KSFO||7th Feb 2021|
|Canada||Vancouver International Airport||CYVR||9th Feb 2021|
|Stevens Anchorage||PANC||15th Feb 2021|
|Casco Cove Cgs||PAAT|
|Russian Federation||Yelizovo Russia (UHPP)||UHPP|
|Mongolia||Buyant-Ukhaa International Airport||ZMUB||Ulaanbaatar|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong||VHHH||City of Victoria|
|Philippines||Ninoy Aquino International||RPLL||Manila|
|Papua New Guinea||WX53|
|Port Moresby||AYPY||Port Moresby|
|Marshall Islands||Majuro Atoll||PKMJ|
|Kiribati||Bonriki Intl Tarawa Island||NGTA|
|Tuvalu||Funafuti Intl Funafuti||NGFU|
|Samoa||Faleolo Intl Apia||NSFA|
|Australia||Lord Howe Island||YLHI|
|Kingford Smith Intl||YSSY|
|Brunei Darussalam||Brunei Intl Brunei||WBSB|
|Chennai International Airport||VOMM|
|Bhutan||Paro Bhutan Airport||VQPR|
|United Arab Emirates||Dubai Intl||OMDB|
|Oman||Muscat - Seeb Intl||OOMS|
|Ethiopia||Bole Intl Addis Ababa||HAAB|
|Kenya||Moi Intl Mombasa||HKMO|
|Rwanda||Gregoire Kayibanda Intl||HRYR|
|South Africa||Johannesburg Intl||FAJS|
|Namibia||Hosea Kutako Intl||FYWH|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the||FZKJ|
|Congo, Republic of the||Bangoka Intl||FZIC|
|Sao Tome and Principe||FPST|
|Central African Republic||FEFT|
|Nigeria||Nnamdi Azikiwe Intl||DNAA|
|Sierra Leone||Lungi Intl||GFLL|
|Cabo Verde||Amilcar Cabral||GVAC|
|Andorra||Andorra la Vella||LESU|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Sarajevo||LQSA|
Currently at Nauru.
For Monaco will probably land at Nice.
wow, what a dedication !!
Loving this plan and ambition.
I’m 75 legs into my scenic RTW trip with no real plan other than to see the world. 85,328Nm so far and 327hrs 7 mins flying time. You can read all about it here if you want (might help to while away those long cruise hours for you):
I’m also planning my next trip (which has kept me amused on the longer cruise legs!): visiting every capital city in the world (227 on my list!) flying direct only and doing so in as efficient a way as possible. For those familiar with it, this is a very large example of the travelling salesman problem - how to visit 227 places and minimise the total distance travelled. With a bit of excel magic, I’ve landed on a route that is 94,868Nm long. It looks like this:
Debating whether to use the DC-6 or the Longitude.
Very similar idea to my plan where I’m trying every capital city. I’m mixing the aircraft up as I’m also doing it with OnAir so I do get a bit diverted if there’s a good paying job
Country #2 ticked off!
The route across Greece took me via some great scenery (payware LKGS Santorini, and some amazing stuff from flightsim.to: a great Athens International and a whole package of other Greek airfields
And the approach to LGKS in the sunset is really quite something.
After flying across Greece, I made the quick flight from LGKR on the island of Corfu to Gjirokastër airfield in Albania. There’s no custom scenery for round here so far as I’m aware, which is a pity for two reasons really:
Gjirokastër sounds fascinating! It’s a UNESCO world heritage site and goes back to at least the 14th Century. Known as Αργυρόκαστρο to its sizeable Greek-speaking population, it became part of Albania in the 1920s. There’s an ancient fortress dominating the town, many buildings are build in a distinctive local style that’s earned the city the nickname ‘City of Stone’. It’s also the birthplace of the Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha.
MSFS is missing the airfield, though you can see where it’s supposed to be - with approaches between two stunning mountain ranges, this airfield would be a great addition! (Though in fairness, it’s a little unclear whether the airfield is still active…)
Next up is Algeria! It looks like the route will take me across the Adriatic to Italy and the island of Sicily, before hopping over to Tunisia and then along the coast…
Country #3 ticked off!
Albania to Algeria via Greece, southern Italy and Tunisia was a relatively simple trip of around 650 NM in a relatively straight line, with some lovely calm weather and just a hint of cloud.
Oh and some lovely freeware scenery for Lemezia, too.
This is the first time I’ve entered the continent of Africa on this trip - and the coast of Tunisia is pretty stunning, where the Atlas mountains meet the sea.
Once over the border in Algeria, I landed at Annaba in the east of the country - the third largest city, which dates back to at least the Phoenicians.
With Algeria ticked off, it’s on to Andorra next…as some of you may have noticed, it doesn’t have an airport, so this could be a challenge…
A belated update…
Country #4 ticked off
One of the big ones, this. Yes, that’s right: Andorra!
Now, Andorra is unusual for many reasons. First, it has a really unusual situation with its Head of State. Now, in most countries, this is pretty clear cut: it’s the Queen, or the President or some similar individual. Note: individual. In Andorra, they do things differently: the Head of State is two people! It’s shared between the Bishop of Urgell and the President of France. Known collectively as the ‘Co-Princes of Andorra’, this arrangement has been in place since 1278. Whatever works…
Second, Andorra is small, and…well…very mountainous! There is a helipad on top of the hospital (in real life if not in MSFS yet), but there are no airports. Not even an altiport so far as I can see. This presented problems for landing in the country in a Turbo Arrow.
So I made my own arrangements… I flew to the ‘local’ airport, over the border in Spain, Andorra–La Seu d’Urgell Airport (LESU). You might have flown here yourself on the Pyrenees/Alps bush trip. It’s quite an airport, plonked on top of a hill! Makes for quite the approach, though there’s plenty of runway for an Arrow.
But I felt this wasn’t close enough. I decided to try to land actually in Andorra itself, against all common sense, regulations, and laws (don’t do this at home…)
As I’ve mentioned, it’s pretty hilly (a bit of a theme for microstates - I’m looking forward to Liechtenstein) so finding any flat ground at all was tricky. I decided the best bet would be at the bottom of the main north-south valley leading from the border to the capital, Andorra la Vella.
And sure enough, a couple of spots presented themselves…so I landed at both. May just have interrupted a football game or two…
With that bit of flagrant rule-breaking under my belt, it’s off south to Angola, in what promises to be one of the longest legs so far. Stay tuned for cross-Sahara adventures!
Country 5 - Angola
This was a long trip south. A little over 4,000 miles, all told. Through Spain, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Equatorial Guinea… Through airports that were sometimes barely there and sometimes not there at all… Over desert and jungle… Through heat and thunderstorm…
You get the gist.
A particularly disconcerting moment was trying to land at Tourisme/Kenitra Air Base in Morocco, a few miles north of Rabat.
It’s there in the Bing imagery, but for some reason MSFS has put the actual airport a little further south, on what I think is just a road in the real world.
After that, there was…a lot of desert to cross before making for the south coast of Cote d’Ivoire
It’s worth saying how spectacular the desert landscapes in MSFS can look at times. I’m not sure the screenshots really do it justice.
Another airport that wasn’t quite there…DNES is Nigeria, I believe.
Anyway, after a stop off on the pretty interesting volcanic island of Bioko (part of Equatorial Guinea) it was just another few hundred miles down the coast to my two stopping points in Angola: FNKU Joaquim Kapango Airport and FNLZ Cuango-Luzamba Airport, known, apparently, for its ‘uncovered wrecks’!
With Angola duly visited, next on my list is the Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda, followed by Argentina. So this is going to involve crossing the Atlantic… Traditionally in a plane like the Arrow, this involves heading all the way north to Iceland and Greenland…
But hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea…
Country 6 - Antigua and Barbuda
An overdue update, this, for which apologies. You’ll recall that after visiting Angola, I was faced with the arduous task of crossing the Atlantic in the Turbo Arrow. I didn’t fancy heading all the way up north to do the traditional Greenland route, so - as this is a sim, after all - I decided to do something that would be highly inadvisable in real life.
Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island in the South Atlantic, about 1,000 miles from the coast of Africa and a little more than that from the coast of South America. Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago about 200 miles off the coast of Brazil, which brings South America that crucial bit closer to Ascension Island.
You won’t find FHAW, RAF Ascension Island - or Wideawake Airfield - in the default sim, but fortunately superspud has kindly filled in this gap with scenery available on flightsim.to. And fortunately, FHAW is on FSEconomy, too (St Helena isn’t, which precluded that potential route).
It’s still quite the trek up the coast of Africa, and out across the Atlantic to Ascension Island, with some relief as the island came into sight.
Plenty of runway at Fernando de Noronha, and the first time I’ve entered South America on this trip so far (it certainly won’t be the last!) - there’s some great freeware scenery for this airport, too, including the island’s remarkable rock formations.
Now that this method of crossing the Atlantic has been tried once, I think it might come in handy on several future legs. So long as the engine holds out, and adverse winds don’t mean I run out of fuel, of course…
From Fernando de Noronha, it was a further 18 legs, hopping up through Brazil, Guyana and Suriname, and across the Caribbean to Antigua and Barbuda’s VC Bird International Airport.
And now it’s back down south - a long way down - to Argentina. Just the small matter of the entire Amazon rainforest to cross…
While I think of it… What should I see in Argentina? Where’s great to fly to? Anything I shouldn’t miss? Hit me up with your suggestions!
You should check out the Butch Cassidy Ranch while flying over Argentina
Also fly over some historic railroads because of the cattle trade
Another long overdue update…
Country 7 - Argentina
Just the simple matter of travelling south, across the Caribbean and the Amazon rainforest…
Fair to say there was some weather involved, too, particularly over the rainforest.
And plenty of flat prairie land, too.
On this occasion, I decided not to explore all the way down south in Argentina, but I’m sure I’ll be back to parts of it later, which Uruguay and Chile come up…
Instead, I headed straight back northeast, towards Armenia, the next country on the list.
So far, we’re just over 20,000 NM into this round-the-world trip, with 93 landings - and we’re not through the 'A’s yet.
Stay tuned: it’s Armenia up next!
Yep similar doing countries alphabetically, Currently Samoa to San Marino (I know San Marino doesn’t have an airport0same with a few other small countries. Just using closet) 650000nm so far.one stop per country basically the capital. Used the covid country list which had most anyway. Did separate UK and some protectorates…
Sounds like you’re way ahead of me!
I think I might do a trip around disputed territories, protectorates and so on after this…
Country 8 - Armenia
It’s a long trip back from South America to the Caucasus, but much shorter than it might otherwise be, thanks to the Turbo Arrow’s range making the route via Ascension Island possible.
And here’s the approach to Ascension Island:
Back across across the Sahara in a very long leg, trying not to get lost in Libya out of range of various NDBs and VORs, before flying straight over much of Greece and taking several stops through Turkey, heading east towards the Armenian border - and earning some much needed FSEconomy cash in the process, of course.
And into Armenia itself - or Հայաստան as it’s written round here. It’s a country with an ancient cultural heritage, stretching back to at least 600 BC. From flying over the border with Turkey to the capital, Yerevan, it looks beautiful, too.
On the tarmac in Yerevan:
Though - as you might expect, perhaps - there are some patches of scenery around here that…aren’t the best.
There’s also a big tower block-cum-obelisk type thing in the centre of Yerevan, which should - I believe - be a large TV transmission aerial.
It would be fantastic if this part of the world got a little more treatment from all the great scenery designers out there, but I suppose it doesn’t feature at the top of many people’s lists - and the relatively tense politics (with disputed territories, a recent war with Azerbaijan and non-existent diplomatic relations with Turkey) of the area might well add to the challenge…
Now comes the longest leg so far: it’s off to Australia next!
The route for this is likely to take me across northern parts of India, then down through Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
I don’t think I’ve ever flown in Australia before (!) so I might take a trip around the country while I’m there. So your suggestions are super welcome: which are the great Australian airports? The challenging approaches? Great (freeware ideally) scenery?
Which parts of the country should I absolutely not miss? Let me know!
A proper update soon, but I’m working my way through Indonesia at the moment (via Aerosoft’s rather good Bali International).
Hit me up with your Australia suggestions - I think it’s going to be a bit of a figure-of-eight around the place…