Posts Tagged ‘Pipestrel’

On final in Tahiti (bottom), and New Zealand

Sunday, February 26th, 2012


New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand

Matevž Lenarčič of Slovenia  landed safely in Tahiti on his quest to circle the world to the west in a Pipistrel aircraft, but do it by zigzagging  clear to Antarctica for environmental research and photographs for the photographer’s new book. This is what final looks like in Paradise. He had engine vibrations and leaking carburetors, and was stranded in Tahiti while Rotax engineers arrived from New Zealand. There were worse places to be trapped. Once repairs were made he flew on to New Zealand where additional engine work could be done. Then it was on to Australia where he experienced a serious in-flight structural failure.

Photos by Matevž Lenarčič 

(Click to enlarge.)

Tahiti

Pipistrel rounding the globe, the long way

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Matevž Lenarčič of Slovenia is flying a modified Pipistrel Virus with a turbocharged Rotax engine around the world westward, taking pictures, ecological measurements, and gathering material for a book. You can see the details in a story by AOPA”s Jim Moore. He has already flown enough miles to circle the globe, but he is only halfway. When he is done he will have flown the lightest aircraft ever (640 pounds) around the world to the west, will have a record for gas mileage (he is getting 28 statute miles per gallon), and will have enough material for his 12th book. He’s a photographer. And a scientist. He is measuring soot in the air every inch of the way, and is going to show the world that fresh water, not oil, may be our next real crisis. Is it all going smoothly? Not always. Here is his report on a recent flight over South America:

“Amazing views were spoiled by engine problem, loosing [sic] some RPM and power so turned to Calafate. After several looong minutes engine sound got back to normal so I continued toward the glaciers Perito Moreno, Upsala, Viedma and Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy which were clear of clouds in almost no wind. Great views but a lot frustration as I was not confident with engine run and had a strong smell of fuel when I opened the window. “

He decided to push on and landed safely. He has flown thousands of miles in the 10 days since then.