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Global Flyer

Global Flyer

by Brian Milton
Originally published in hardback by Mainstream

See below for ordering information

In 1998, two men set off to fly a microlight around the world; 120 days later, one man came back in it. Global Flyer, by Brian Milton, is a thrilling account of the first flight around the world by microlight aircraft, no more than a large kite with a motorbike slung underneath.

He and a friend of 20 years, Keith Reynolds, set out to race their little aircraft around the world in 80 days, chasing the ghost of Phileas Fogg. They were buzzed ten times by a Mig-21 jet fighter trying to get out of Syria, but the Mig didn't shoot so they were able to reach Jordan. In the Saudi Desert, the engine "blew up" seven times, discharging all their cooling fluid.

They twice landed in the dark, and then changed their engine, which still blew up. It was only by rigging a Heath Robinson cooling system, tie-wrapping the radiator to an undercarriage leg and sending an Arab fireman out with $50 to find 8 feet of tubing and six clips, that they were able to get away. Their first test-flight was across 300 miles of Persian Gulf. They crossed India plagued by a heat-wave, and 800 miles of jungle-covered mountains in Burma, Laos and Vietnam. China held them up, then Japan, and then - for 26 days - the Russian authorities. Keith had to fly by airliner to Alaska while a Russian navigator took his place, but Keith lost heart in Anchorage and went home.

This left Brian to cross 3,000 miles of Siberia, sometimes covered in ice, with a Russian stranger in the back. From Nome, Alaska, Brian flew on alone, down to San Francisco, chased by tornadoes across to New York, and then the first solo west-east crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by microlight, where for three hours he was in a place "beyond fear". The flight won the Royal Aero Club's Britannia Trophy; there is no higher award in the gift of the Club. It also won the prestigious Segrave Trophy, once won by Amy Johnston.

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Global Flyer
Paperback Edition
United Kingdom Delivery Only
Price £10.00 plus £3.00 P&P

Global Flyer
Paperback Edition
Rest of the World Delivery
Price £10.00 plus £6.00 P&P


In all his ventures Brian had a strong sense of history and the romance of aviation. As a journalist he approached his circumnavigation as a story that he wanted to tell well, something that Keith could never understand or empathise with. It was an amazing achievement, of dogged bloody-minded tenacity and the taking of some huge risks by a man who was fighting his fear and, at times, just about everyone around him. It was a great adventure"
Sir Chris Bonington, who included Brian's microlight flight in his account, "Quest for Adventure", of the greatest individual adventures since World War Two

Your Global Flyer around the world in 80 flying days was without doubt the most extraordinary flight of this century. Only people who have flown in those areas in the relative comfort of fully certified aircraft, as I have, would fully understand your achievement. I congratulate you. You are one of the major aviators of the century and I put you with Lindbergh and Kingsford-Smith. After reading the book I arranged to go for a 10-minute flight in a trike and that gave me even more admiration for your flight....
Dick Smith, an Australian billionaire and adventurer, the first man to fly around the world in a helicopter, and published of Australian Geographic.

I read it at one sitting because, although I already knew the outcome and the major twists and turns along the way, the story is utterly engrossing and I felt I had to find out what happened next. The book succeeds as a 'ripping yarn' but does so on other levels too. There is the thread of a political thriller, with various approaches by Richard Branson to influence the adventure. This is a microlighting classic that should be on every microlighter's shelf. It may even rank among other travel classics
David Bremner, Editor, "Microlight Flying"

This book is an account of one of the greatest flying adventures of all time. It is also the story of a man cast in the heroic mould yet strangely flawed, driven by a desire for the recognition he felt he was denied by his peers. It is, without a doubt, the best microlighting book yet written - go out and buy it now. The flying itself is a fantastic read, with almost non-stop drama and adrenalin. It is also very much a character study of Brian Milton, and he has shown himself to us honestly, warts and all. His achilles heel is that he is scared of heights - a relic of a bad hang gliding accident in the seventies - and his accounts of his battle with this fear, and the unusual weapons he used, are candid and revealing. Hero, adventurer - but also a hard man to live and work with on a daily basis
Nick Bowles, Nick's Micro Pages web site

Photographs from Global Flyer

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