Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Saturday, March 2, 2013

One Looong Flight

Guam to Jacksonville, FL. Now over Alabama. Apparently they've given him a new squawk code and FlightAware has dropped the track.

That's a 39 hour flight. Talk about the "Iron Butt" award!

I don't know he fits that much gas in a Lancair.


BadTux said...

He's pretty clearly going to land and refuel several times. Still qualifies as "most hilarious flight plan" though -- that's the kind of flight plan that a 747 flies, not a Lancair (except the 747 doesn't need to land and refuel :).

Comrade Misfit said...

No, it's a non-stop flight. If he was landing and refueling, it'd show up as separate flights on FlightAware. Word is that he built the airplane for this sort of flight and that it carries 400 gallons of fuel.

Essentially, he's flying a modern "Spirit of St. Louis". But with a much more efficient engine and airframe.

BadTux said...

400 gallons of fuel would weigh 2,000 pounds. Rated gross on a Lancair IV is 3550 pounds, and dry weight is 2200 pounds. A Lancair IV is constructed out of composite shells for the fuselage and wings that pretty much determines the volume of the plane, and the wings are already highly loaded at rated gross (with resulting high stall speed). I see no way to safely carry 400 gallons of fuel in a Lancair IV, you'd be at 75% over rated payload and if you're using the provided wing composite shells your flight envelope would be very narrow indeed, the kts between stall and full power would be not a whole lot at altitude. That said, once he came in range of Seattle and Oakland radars it's pretty certain he didn't land, and Honolulu radars didn't pick him up so clearly he didn't go near there, so... maybe he's doing it. But if so, it's unsafe as bleep with that airframe, it was built for speed, not for hauling 400 gallons of fuel.

Eck! said...

Tux, look up the specs for the "Spirit of St. Louis". He was lucky to get off the ground and it was only because Long Island is flat that he had run room enough once in ground effect.

Ultra long flights all rely on the airframe having reserve strength. The Lancair is not a flimsy airplane and was likely flying without some or all of the internal
customer features like seats for passengers, carpets and all. Having flown a C150 at overload I know there is always risk but you also manage it.


BadTux said...

The Spirit of St. Louis had trouble getting off the ground due to lack of engine power, not due to lack of wing -- it had gigantic wings compared to a Lancair. Lancairs are not flimsy but they're also designed to be fast, not to haul lots of weight. There's no question that the airframe is strong enough (it was overbuilt because when it was designed, composites were still viewed as somewhat experimental for *experimental* light aviation, nevermind general aviation, and the last thing the Lancair people wanted was for the thing to disintegrate in midair), it is the high stall speed implied by adding even more loading to wings that already operated with high wing loading (more akin to WW2 fighter plane wings than to typical civilian aviation wings) that makes me believe the Lancair is likely not the ideal platform for long-range travel while overloaded with fuel. Of course, he's burning all that fuel off as he flies along, so by the time he lands he should be back to normal, but it still strikes me as a damnfool thing to do.

Of course, some folks do damnfool things that are even more dangerous, so ... (shrug). I don't go bungie jumping either. But people do, every day. So it goes.

CenterPuke88 said...

Following is a little enlightening: