What is the shortest time it would take to fly to every country in the world?
This was asked recently and has intrigued me ever since. According to WesleyCrusher:
"As written [...] the answer is "it's not possible". Some of the world's countries have no airports, not even a landing strip you could use with a small private plane. (Several of the island nations in the Pacific come to mind and also, you most certainly wouldn't be able to fly into the Vatican.) So if you wanted to really fly an airplane (commercial or private) into every country on Earth without breaking the law, you'd be unable to complete this task.
If you want to take just the countries you can reach by plane and don't put any restrictions on the types of planes involved (you charter a private Lear Jet, have your pilots work in shifts and also assume you have all the visa and permits needed), I'd roughly estimate that you'd need to cruise about 70,000 kms at 700 kph (100 hours), make 200 takeoffs and landings (1 hour each including approach and climb, so 200 hours - 195 countries plus you need a few extras to cover refueling on ocean crossings) and refuel/reprovision 20-30 times (which adds an extra hour each), you might be able to complete the trip in 14 days."
My thoughts on the above are:
"[The] assumptions seem reasonable enough except that some countries (e.g. Switzerland > Lichtenstein > Austria, or Thailand > Malaysia > Singapore > Indonesia) are so close it's probable that the take-off from one country is also the approach to the next; which should shorten the time required. But yeah, 10 to 14 days seems likely."
Is anyone interested in helping to refine this time-frame? If so, lets start setting some parameters and see if we can find an answer.
1. Because I'm asking the question, I get to nominate my home country of Australia as the start/finish point.
2. Only countries with maintained runways (sealed or otherwise) can be included.
3. Only currently commissioned passenger-carrying aircraft can be used - commercial or private, scheduled or chartered flights (i.e. no military or experimental aircraft).
4. General direction of flight is to follow the sun, east to west. Back-tracking is unavoidable but east to west is the general aim.
5. Only elapsed flight time from point to point, take-off to touch-down counts. This is not "The Amazing Race". How you get from one flight/airport/terminal/gate to the next is immaterial.
6. So we don't get bogged down in defining a 'country' let's use Wikipedia's "List of sovereign states and dependent territories by continent" at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_continent.
BTW, if anyone finds or knows of a web page where this exercise has already been completed, it would be appreciated if you would post the URL here.