New record! Both poles circumnavigated in a DIY aircraft
Captain Michel Gordillo became the first pilot recognized by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (F.A.I.) to not only circumnavigate both the North and South Poles in a homebuilt aircraft weighing under 1,750 kilograms (3,858 pounds), but to also be the first ever to fly a single-engine aircraft across Antarctica.
Sky Polaris record-setting trip highlights:
• Miles traveled: 47,475
• Kilometers traveled: 76,400
• Longest leg: 4,735 kilometers
• Countries visited: 25
• Hours flown: 305
• Highest altitude: 15,500 feet
• Fuel capacity: 192 U.S. gallons (730 liters).
Gordillo built the Vans RV-8 with the help of his three daughters, Lorena, Anaelle, and Marta, in his garage. “The main modifications I made during building were to the fuel system and wing fuel tanks,” Gordillo said. “I have a full leading-edge wet wing and that meant I had to move the landing light to the wing tip.”
Along with fulfilling the dreams of a true adventurer, Gordillo explained that the primary mission for Sky Polaris’ record-breaking flight was to gather critical data on the build up of black carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere in remote regions of the world.
“The study, ‘Absorbing aerosols monitoring over remote regions,’ is made by the University of Granada under the supervision of Dr. Lucas Alados and his team,” Gordillo said. “The data is gathered by special scientific equipment like LIDARS and Aethalometers. My aircraft was equipped by an Aerosols Aethalometer.”
“Because of its altitude and airspeed, the Sky Polaris has retrieved some very unique data from the atmospheres over big oceans, the Arctic, Antarctica, the Amazon region and desert areas I crossed during my flights,” he said. “The data is very good and will be distributed to scientists all over the world.”
About Captain Michel Gordillo
Michel Gordillo recently retired as an Airbus A320 captain for Spain’s Iberia Airlines. He also served in the Spanish Air Force and was an Advanced Navigator with the U.S. Air Force. He currently has over 15,000 hours of flight time. He lives in Madrid, Spain with his family.
History Hour: 18 records set in one day on Lockheed JetStar
On April 22, 1961, Jackie Cochran set 18 World Air Sport Federation (FAI) records in one day flying a Lockheed L-13...
History Hour: Ruth Nichols world speed record on Lockheed Vega
On April 13, 1931, Ruth Rowland Nichols set a World Air Sports Federation World Speed Record of 210.64 mph over a 1...
Hypersonic flight technology gets boost from two industry giants
Boeing HorizonX Ventures and Rolls-Royce announced their investment in Reaction Engines, a UK-based aerospace technology...
Want a top-notch web sales? Take advice from aviation start-up
The millions of media channels available online mean a fierce competition for online-marketers, forcing them to fight to...
Laserpas provides significant data to Slovakian power company
Laserpas, company providing aerial power line inspections, has completed an inspection in Slovakia for the company Z&aac...
Virgin Galactic rocket test launch 3 years after fatal crash
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic successfully conducted supersonic test flight of its SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity pass...
Lockheed wins $248M NASA contract for low-boom supersonic jet
Lockheed Martin won a $247.5 million NASA contract for the design, building and testing of a supersonic jet that reduces...
Tiangong-1 is tumbling to a fiery death: the when, where and why
China's first prototype space station, Tiangong-1 is tumbling in orbit and is predicted to crash to Earth in an unco...
NASA delays launch of the world’s most powerful telescope
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launch date has been delayed for a second time in the past six months. Th...