Seattle Royal Aeronautical Society

The "Around the World Bob" Lecture

Super Cub Howdy at the MOF
Super Cub "Howdy" at the MOF

22 February 2005

Bob & Diane Dempster’s February 22nd lecture in the Museum of Flight proved to be extremely entertaining, informative, and thought provoking. It was hard to tell whether it took more guts to sell up everything to fund the trip or to actually set off around the world in their brand new PA18-150 Super Cub! Shortly after accepting the airplane, somebody asked - “well it’s nice, but what can you do with it”? The response was simply, “Fly around the world, I guess”!

Since Bob & Diane’s flight originated from Boeing Field and the Museum of Flight, this evening’s lecture seemed particularly fitting to be held at the same place.

Bob appeared in full Arctic Survival gear Diane started the presentation from behind the podium with great and conventional dignity.  Then Bob appeared in full Arctic Survival gear and gave a hilarious description of how to actually don these life saving necessities while flying a Super Cub.  Even getting out of the survival suit while on stage, before succumbing to heat, required extraordinary maneuvers.

This Super Cub was powerfully blessed! First in Seattle by a Russian Orthodox priest, who cautiously accepted Bob’s offer of a flight, after the blessing, and then a kindly mention by none less than the Pope, while Bob and Diane were passing through Rome.

Diane gave us a whole new appreciation for the meaning of "motivation". It seems while flying in the Arctic north, in places where nobody with conventional thinking would remotely consider flying anything, let alone a Cub, they experienced a total electrical failure. Diane, in addition to navigating through this frigid, barren, icy region of alarming weather, undertook the additional task of hand pumping fuel from the auxiliary tank to keep the engine running just long enough to make their destination! As Diane, explained, she was motivated!

Apart form numerous adventures, incredible logistics, careful planning, and regulatory bureaucracy, Bob and Diane were overwhelmed with the warmth and helpfulness of the aviation communities encountered and friendships made throughout the world. Technically, Bob points out that the true completion of their global circumnavigation requires a flight back to Seattle from Japan for which unfortunately the Russians could not be persuaded to provide flight plan approval, at that time.

Bob and Diane Dempster with John Hope Bob & Diane Dempster receive plaque
commemorating their lecture from John Hope

Bob, always being one to energetically pursue the near impossible is now totally charged up with building a Douglas World Cruiser, and then, naturally, flying it around the world to celebrate the famous 1924 circumnavigation expedition from Seattle.

We look forward to a future "Bob Lecture" on this subject in the future.

— Submited by John Hope, RAeS Seattle Branch Chairman

— Photos courtesy of Barry Latter, committee member