Newsletter 67 – April 2012

Welcome to a slightly late newsletter, held up over the past few weeks by Aero Friedrichshafan and my visit to the Pipistrel factory.

I am very proud to announce that the extreme pilot Matevz Lenarcic successfully circumnavigated the World in his Pipistrel Virus SW 914 Turbo – in the most demanding possible way!

Matevz arrived into Slovenia on the 19th April at approximately 16.00 local time and landed at the Joze Pucnik airport in Brnik, near Slovenia’s capitol, Ljubljana – the same airport where he also began his flight almost 3 months earlier.

The initial plan was to welcome Matevz as a guest of honour at the largest European aviation expo, the Aero Expo 2012 at Friedrichshafen, Germany, but because of bad weather and icing conditions the crossing of the Alps was unfortunately not possible. As the weather forecast for Slovenia was equally bad for the following 5 days the decision was made for Matevz to head straight home and make his landing today.

Pipistrel and everyone following this adventure fully supported this decision because safety must come first. Good fortune favoured Matevz for the entire duration of the flight around the world and it would be unwise to push his luck on the very last leg. We are convinced that Matevz made the right decision and thus successfully concluded the most extreme around-the-world flight ever accomplished by such a small aircraft.

Matevz Lenarcic proved that the Pipistrel Virus SW 914 Turbo aircraft is capable of crossing both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans (and the Indian Ocean as well), capable of extreme heights required to fly over Mt. Everest and capable of withstanding drastically low temperatures in Antarctica and high temperatures and humidity when crossing the equator.

Well done, Matevz, everyone at Pipistrel is extremely proud at your achievement! Thank you again and congratulations!

Interview with Matevz shortly after the completion of his trip.

Some amazing statistics !

This collection of flight data shows the incredible performance of the Virus SW aircraft and the whole flight.

Distance: 91,003 km / 49,138 NM

Distance flown over water: 33,100 km / 17,873 NM

Total hours flown: 369

Average fuel consumption: 18.1 lph

Average engine setting at average cruise speed of 145 KTS at flight level FL100 = 63% power @ 4800 RPM, 30.5″ MP

Average ground speed: 246.62 km/h / 133.2 KTS

Average head wind: 22.2 km/h / 12 KTS

Total fuel used: 6,679 l / 1,764 US gal

The highest altitude: 8,965 m / 29,413 feet in vicinity of M.Everest (overhead Nuptse, Lotse, South col)

Highest ground speed: 352 km/h / 190 KTS

According to information we have, we can compare our GreenLight WorldFlight challenge (regarding efficiency)  to incredible (also green) flight of two Swiss pilots Yannick Bovier and Francisco Agullo who successfully accomplished circumnavigation in two  CTLS LSA aircraft (Flight Design) in 2010

They flew 232 hours distance 45,926 km with average ground speed 198 km/h with average consumption of 19 litres/h.

For our distance they would need 460 h and 8,740 litres of fuel what means that we improve efficiency of the previous  world flights for at least 30% what is astonishing number.

Safe flying, Michael Coates