Trip of a lifetime, around the world in a turbocharged ultralight

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Jonas

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Dec 23, 2010
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Location
Whitecourt, Alberta, Canada
Hello Everyone,

This adventurous guy just started flying around the world in a Pipistrel Virus Equipped with a Rotax 914 turbo, and a modified fuel system carrying a total of 350 litres of fuel.


you can track his progress from his blog and "Spidertracks" tracking website.

He is a professional photographer, so if you have any places you have been dreaming of flying to, he will most likely write about it and post photos on his blog as he flies overhead at 35,00 ft, and as he visits the many different villages and cities along the way.

www.worldgreenflight.com


ROUTE:
Over more than 50 countries
Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Brazil, French Guiana, Surinam, Guiana, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Mexico, Guatemala, Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Antarctic, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Seychelles, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Congo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Libya, Tunisia.


CONTINENTS HIGHEST MOUNTAINS
Mt. Blanc - 4810m (Europe)
Aconcagua - 6960m (S. America)
Mt. Kosciuszko - 2230m (Australia)
Mt. Everest - 8872m (Asia)
Kilimanjaro - 5895m (Africa)
OCEANS
South Atlantic 1670nm - 3100km
South Pacific 7720nm - 14300km
Indian Ocean 2860nm - 5300km


NATURAL RESOURCES
Flying over more than 120 National Parks and hundreds of natural monuments and resorts.
Flying over thousands of rivers and lakes
Flying over deserts of Africa, Australia and Antarctica
Flying over tropical rainforests of Brazil, Indonesia and Africa

greenlight world flight.jpg
 

SVSUSteve

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Evansville, Indiana
350 litres of fuel
How is it an ultralight then? The fuel weight alone would put it over most standard definitions.

he flies overhead at 35,00 ft, and as he visits the many different villages and cities along the way.
I'd like to know how he's not going to die from the effects of environmental hypothermia.
 

TFF

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Memphis, TN
The term ultralight is a relative across the world. The closest thing plane wise in the US is Lite Sport.
 

SVSUSteve

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That's what I figured, but I was about to say, if it's hauling around that much fuel, this guy isn't in an ultralight or microlight. I'd still like to know how he's going to get to 35,000 feet. That sounds outlandish given the equipment, not to mention RVSM. If he's actually going to do half the crap he claims he wants to do, I'm hoping he went ahead and got a copy of his dental records ready to send out.
 

autoreply

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Rotterdam, Netherlands
That's what I figured, but I was about to say, if it's hauling around that much fuel, this guy isn't in an ultralight or microlight. I'd still like to know how he's going to get to 35,000 feet. That sounds outlandish given the equipment, not to mention RVSM.
He mentions FL300, not FL350 as the ceiling of his plane. Jonas claims the FL350 flight...
If he's actually going to do half the crap he claims he wants to do, I'm hoping he went ahead and got a copy of his dental records ready to send out.
A bit more modesty... you would never say anything like that if you'd bothered to read the website and see what he has done so far. He's been around the world 3 times now, in similar aircraft...
 

SVSUSteve

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He mentions FL300, not FL350 as the ceiling of his plane.
Still.....FL300 in an unpressurized aircraft for long periods seems like a very bad idea and an unnecessary risk. One of those, "just because you can, does not mean you should" sort of scenarios. There's no need to purposefully fly over mountains that would require that sort of altitude and if he's using it to top weather, then I question the wisdom of being airborne in an LSA in conditions that would need that. It just seems like the guy has way too much free time on his hands and a tendency to not be very risk averse.

A bit more modesty...
Sorry...I just don't like to sugarcoat things. A spade is called a spade and what seems to be a really bad idea is called such.

you would never say anything like that if you'd bothered to read the website and see what he has done so far. He's been around the world 3 times now, in similar aircraft...
Just because you've engaged in such behavior before and gotten away with it doesn't make it a good idea or indicate that it's necessarily safe to try again. I've survived a low altitude stall before...doesn't mean I should purposefully press my luck and try it again.

I tried to look at the website earlier but it was down (and it appears to still be down as I'm getting an error message when I attempt to look at it). If he's done it three times before, then why is this trip such a big deal? If he wants to putter around and take pictures from high altitude, that's his business. I just don't see how it makes him special or worthy of praise. My only hope is that he does not die because of poor decision making or complacency on this flight.
 
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autoreply

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Still.....FL300 in an unpressurized aircraft for long periods seems like a very bad idea and an unnecessary risk. One of those, "just because you can, does not mean you should" sort of scenarios.
Who exactly says that he's going to fly there. Again. He writes the CEILING of the plane is FL300. Not that he's going to fly there.
There's no need to purposefully fly over mountains that would require that sort of altitude
Except for filming and photos perhaps? He's one of the better-known photographers of mountain ranges, it's also his core-business...
Sorry...I just don't like to sugarcoat things. A spade is called a spade and what seems to be a really bad idea is called such.
They I won't suger coat either. It makes you look fairly stupid if you have a very "unsugarcoated" opinion but clearly didn't even bother to read a few lines of the text of the very subject we're discussing. That's what modesty is about...
I tried to look at the website earlier but it was down (and it appears to still be down as I'm getting an error message when I attempt to look at it).
Than, just maybe, be a bit more modest in all your presumptions and totally uninformed (and erroneous) comments until you actually have the slightest clue what you're talking about.


I don't mean to attack you personally Steve, but you're extremely negative about this project and this man. That's fine if it's founded on arguments, his words, or actual facts, but simply talking someone/something down, without having the slightest clue... I think inspirational people like him deserve a bit more.


My only hope is that he does die because of poor decision making or complacency on this flight.
For the time being I'll assume that's a typo (doesn't)....
 

SVSUSteve

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Who exactly says that he's going to fly there. Again. He writes the CEILING of the plane is FL300. Not that he's going to fly there.
I was simply referring to Jonas' statment.

Except for filming and photos perhaps? He's one of the better-known photographers of mountain ranges, it's also his core-business...
I know his photos quite well and am quite jealous of the technology he has in terms of cameras to accomplish it.

Then why not get a plane with a little more of a performance margin for operating in terrain known for unstable air masses. LSAs are tough enough to handle in a light crosswind. It would seem to be a less than desirable camera platform when you're dealing with the various (and often wicked) permutations of airflow around mountains.

I think inspirational people like him deserve a bit more.
Maybe I'm just missing something but what's exactly inspirational about this? It's something that's been done, time and time again before. Maybe not with LSA aircraft but are the pictures any more amazing if you take them from a LSA or from a Twin Otter or a Cessna 208?

That's fine if it's founded on arguments, his words, or actual facts, but simply talking someone/something down, without having the slightest clue
I know the performance of aircraft, I know high altitude physiology and I know what mountain winds can do to a small plane. I also really happen to enjoy photography from small aircraft so I understand what even a "smooth" day in the mountains can do in terms of providing a less than optimal base for photographs. I may not say the same degree of wonder the rest of you see with the idea of LSAs tackling mountains and such, but saying I don't have the slightest clue is going a bit far. I will admit that I don't know how this guy is spinning his plans but I'm looking at what has been presented on this thread and see it as another one of those things that homebuilders get all a-flutter about simply because it involves an LSA or homebuilt. Just because it's an LSA or homebuilt instead of a Cessna or Piper doesn't make it any more "inspirational". I look at it and see questionable judgment that might give the LSA community some very bad press if something goes wrong and for what end?

I guess my big question is why is this a big deal. If it's because of his choice of aircraft, then the next question logically becomes: why use an LSA for this mission given the existence of more proven platforms for the same mission?

Quite frankly I don't care if he straps himself to the butt of a condor to get his photos, so long as it can be accomplished safely and effectively. That's my gripe here: pushing one's aircraft to its limits in a way that will have few options should something go wrong simply because you can. It just doesn't seem like a good idea in my book. Your mileage may vary.
 

autoreply

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Then why not get a plane with a little more of a performance margin for operating in terrain known for unstable air masses. LSAs are tough enough to handle in a light crosswind. It would seem to be a less than desirable camera platform when you're dealing with the various (and often wicked) permutations of airflow around mountains.
He is not flying an LSA, he's flying an MLA. The single biggest factor in mountain flying is climb speed at altitude. There are no certified aircraft I'm aware of that outperform a turbocharged MLA or this design. None...
I know the performance of aircraft, I know high altitude physiology and I know what mountain winds can do to a small plane.
So, how many hours in the high mountains (10,000+ ft) do you exactly have? Not over-flying them at a safe altitude, but how many hours in-between tops. Experiencing rotor, venturi effects, ridge effects, wave, CB's and valley winds and often all at once? How many hours have you actually flown an MLA or light LSA?
 

SVSUSteve

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There are no certified aircraft I'm aware of that outperform a turbocharged MLA or this design. None...
I'm pretty sure there are.....it's just that most of them don't have propellers or have a turboprop at a minimum. I'll give you that among the standard GA powerplants, this design is pretty neat but I still don't see what makes this guy's plan so inspiring or exciting to the rest of you. To me, it's no more exciting than someone firing up their Cub or Aeronca Chief and taking it on a cross-country flight except that a Cub or Chief is a little more aesthetically appealing. To each and to their own I guess.

So, how many hours in the high mountains (10,000+ ft) do you exactly have? Not over-flying them at a safe altitude, but how many hours in-between tops. Experiencing rotor, venturi effects, ridge effects, wave, CB's and valley winds and often all at once?
About 10 or so in gliders, just a rough guess since I have no clue where my glider logbook went. I don't get to do it as much as I would like since I live in a very flat area (which is one of the reasons there are so few gliders here). Obviously, not a lot but I well versed from the aerodynamic and structural standpoints of it even if my first hand experience is not overwhelmingly impressive. There's no real reason to be piddling around in anything but a glider at 10,000 ft in mountains because there are so few airports at the altitude in the US (Leadville, Telluride, Possum Creek, Aspen and maybe two or three others are the ones that come to mind) and most GA aircraft can't handle that sort of altitude with anything approaching a good performance. Everything else is going to be "over-flying" the mountains by 2000-4000 feet to get to them or going through much lower passes. My rule has generally been that unless I'm on approach or climb-out, if I can look UP and see mountains, it's an indication that I need to climb.

How many hours have you actually flown an MLA or light LSA?
About 25 for LSAs. Maybe another 50 if you chunk in ULs (which I believe is the equivalent of the European MLA designation if memory serves me; I stopped really paying attention once I outgrew the desire to operate such tiny planes and began focusing on aircraft as a way to get from Point A to Point B as quickly and conveniently as possible).
 

topspeed100

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I wonder why this is a news...same dude flew the same aircraft around the world in 2004.

350 gallons is what I counted my design to burn in a round the world flight. I wonder how much this bird consumes ..anyone know ?
 

Southron

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Eatonton
I realize that the fella does that stuff for a living and I wish him the best. He is engaged in something that could be fairly dangerous under the right conditions, just ask Amelia Earhart.

I just get nervous when I hear this "Ecology Song and Dance Routine." Like I tell my Grand kids: [1] The Moon is NOT made out of Green Cheese. [2] If you sail West, you will not fall off the ends of the earth (Columbus disproved that one) and [3] Don't believe in the Global Warming Hoax-if it weren't for Carbon Dioxide all those pretty green plants would suffocate.
 
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