The annual fundraising flightsim event in which teams fly around the world over the course of a week kicks off this weekend. Beginning at 2100Z on Saturday 4th November, a dozen teams using full-sized flight simulators will depart Sydney, Australia’s Kingsford Smith Airport (YSSY) to begin the WorldFlight 2023 journey. For the next seven days, teams will cover nearly 40,000 nm (74,000 km) and visit 48 airports, with dedicated online air traffic control provided using the VATSIM network. Since the first WorldFlight in 1999, over $1 million USD has been raised for charities around the world.
Five things to know about WorldFlight 2023:
- During the event, each team raises money for their chosen charity. Charities selected by the teams this year include the Australian Royal Flying Doctor Service, the UK’s Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, Angel Flight West in the United States, New Zealand’s Philips Search and Rescue Trust, and others. To learn more or to donate, visit the team page linked from the WorldFlight Official Team Listing.
- For this year’s event, teams from around the world will be using full-sized simulators representing the Boeing 747 and 737, as well as the Airbus A330 and A320. Each simulator represents a sizable investment in time and money and can be based on real aircraft cockpits as well as homemade and commercially available cockpits. Platforms are developed around X-Plane, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Prepar3D, and Aerowinx’s Precision Simulator.
- The event runs non-stop for seven days. This means that flights are operated 24 hours a day, in real-time, just as a regular airliner would. The WorldFlight route is divided into multiple sectors, and each team decides on crew schedules for the sectors. As one crew is flying their sector, the next crew is completing briefings and preparing to turn around the aircraft for the next flight. Crew training is conducted by each team and teams consist of real-world pilots, mechanics, airline enthusiasts, and flight sim hobbyists from around the world.
- WorldFlight is set to visit Antarctica for the first time this year. Custom MSFS and P3D scenery for Union Glacier Airport (SCGC) and Wilkins Ice Runway (YWKS) was developed to accommodate WorldFlight operation and full ATC coverage will be provided as well during the Antarctic sectors of the schedule. WorldFlight uses real-time weather throughout the event and in Antarctica, the weather can be highly variable and change quickly, adding to the challenge.
- Teams will be live-streaming their flights on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook so you can easily follow along. Members of the VATSIM network are encouraged to join in and fly alongside the WorldFlight group as well. WorldFlight’s Operations Center links to each sector’s SimBrief briefing package as well as the suggested route for pilots to fly and over 50 VATSIM controllers will be involved from the ATC side.
For more information and updates, check out WorldFlight’s official webpage, WorldFlight.center. FSElite will also be covering WorldFlight 2023 in person with the Cali Crew and their full-sized Boeing 737 simulator based in Orange County, California. Watch for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at what goes into planning for and conducting the online event coming soon!