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The Grand Adventure

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An adventure where just one man in an old biplane dares the elements of nature, to explore untapped parts of Europe and Africa from the sky and ground.

A biplane adventure to explore Europe and Africa

An adventure where just one man in an old biplane dares the elements of nature, to explore untapped parts of Europe and Africa from the sky and ground.

The Grand Adventure

Beginning in September 2015, Swedish pilot Johan Wiklund will fly a 1935 de Havilland DH60 Moth biplane from Stockholm Barkarby Airport to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

This modern-day challenge echoes the pioneering flight of another Swede, Gösta Andrée, who flew a Moth from Stockholm’s Barkarby airfield to Cape Town, South Africa, in 1929. At the time, Andrée’s journey was an unprecedented feat – alone aviator flying an open-cockpit plane over the vast deserts and jungles of the African continent, equipped with the most rudimentary of navigational instruments: a map and a compass. Johan Wiklund will repeat Andrée’s adventure, flying a similar aircraft and following the 1929 route as closely as possible. He’ll also use the same navigational tools, and even a copy of Andrée’s flying costume.

Johan Wiklund wants to prove that it is still possible. Using the same technology used by his compatriot Gösta André in 1929. This is an adventure where just one single man in an old technology biplane, dares the elements of nature, to explore untapped parts of Europe and Africa from the sky and ground. To get the ultimate perspective.

*“We have planned this adventure for years. Actually, I have been dreaming about this adventure ever since reading about Gösta Andrée. Gösta Andrée did his adventure to increase interest for hobby flying and to promote the Sandvik brand. My dreams are somewhat different. I have a passion for flying too. It has been so all my life. But I also want to explore Europe and Africa from many perspectives. I am going to visit places seen by few. See people, discover cultures and most likely also go places most would think are too dangerous.

Help me accomplish this adventure. What was seen as impossible in 1929 is seen as even more impossible in 2015. I want to show you all that ”impossible is only temporary”.*

Flying past the North Cape

The Route

The first phase of the journey started in July this year, when Johan took off from North Cape in Norway and flew to Stockholm in Sweden. That journey was not a part of Gösta Andrées route.

The second phase of the journey begins - as it did for Gösta Andrée - at Barkaby airfield in Stockholm. Take off on September 1st. Johan will try to follow the same route as Gösta Andrée did, with some minor alterations due to the different political landscape. With 40 take offs and 40 landings - 40 legs - Johan will fly down through Europe, cross the Mediterranean sea and continue throughout Africa to the Cape of Good Hope - with the plan to land in Cape Town in the second part of October.

The planned route

The Mission

The goal of Johan’s adventure is not just flying from the North Cape to the Cape of Good Hope. While he hopes to cover the costs of the trip itself through private funding and sponsors, he also aims to raise money for the “Make reading cool” project. This program is designed to help the Children’s Book Network support schoolchildren with limited resources in Red Hill outside Cape Town. Help make this adventure a success for the children in Red Hill.

After completing this journey, Johan plans to share his story through lectures and films from the trip. It is also hoped that the adventure will result in a book.

Why support me?

The adventure will be accomplished with or without the funding from FundedByMe, so why support me? Support if you wish to follow a true adventure in real time and also get an ultimate perspective – sky and ground – of Europe and Africa.

Support if you also get thrilled when mankind challenges the elements of nature.

Most importantly, we have challenged ourselves to contribute to the school children project “Make reading cool”. Let us show what crowdfunding and social media can do to help!

These are the rewards you can choose from when supporting this adventure.

My name is Johan Wiklund

I’m a 47-year-old Swedish airline captain at SAS, flying out of Copenhagen, Denmark. I live with my wife Lena and our two children in Malmö, Sweden. Adventure is nothing new to me. I have a military background from the Swedish submarine force, and was also trained as a helicopter pilot in the Swedish Army. In 2000-2001, my brother Anders and I took a leave of absence and sailed round-trip across the Atlantic in a 35-foot sloop, the Röde Orm. It was on this trip, while in the West Indies, that I met my fantastic wife – who was on a sailing adventure of her own!

My passion is to build, fly and maintain antique aero planes. I specialize in English “Moths”, a series of small biplanes designed by Sir Geoffrey de Havilland and manufactured between 1924 and 1935. These aero planes were used as trainers during World War II and then as sport aircraft.

Combining my roles as father and husband, SAS airline pilot and spare-time adventurer couldn’t be done without the help and support of family and friends. Thanks to them, I can look forward to sharing the fun of Cape to Cape with all of you!

Follow the adventure here:

Photo: Jocke Mårtensson

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