Off around the world – in a 007-style gyrocopter

A BUSINESSMAN who defeated cancer is attempting to become the first person to fly round the world in a gyrocopter – the tiny craft that featured in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.

Norman Surplus, 47, lifted off in his tiny yellow aircraft from a playing field in his hometown of Larne in Northern Ireland on the first leg of a 27,000-mile journey involving stop-offs in 25 countries. He aims to travel about 300 miles a day and to get back home by mid-July.

Hoping to raising funds for cancer research charities, the father of two circled the town's round tower twice before setting out over the Irish Sea.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Five years ago, Mr Surplus, joint director of a renewable energy firm, was diagnosed with cancer.

"When I was recovering after surgery and chemotherapy, I saw this programme about someone restoring an autogyro on one of those daytime television shows. That's when I had the idea," he said. "Part of this is to raise funds and awareness for cancer charities but hopefully it will also encourage people who are in the position that I was in five years ago."

The last bid to circumnavigate the globe in a gyrocopter, in 2005, was ended by monsoons in India.