Slovene pilot Matevž Lenarcic, who is flying around the world in his modified Pipistrel Virus SW 914 Turbo with an Intercooler unit, made a succesful landing in the Antarctic Feb. 16.
Matevž started his epic flight Jan. 7 from Ljubljana, Slovenia. On his route he is planning to cross the equator six times, cover more than 80,000 km, fly over all seven continents, over almost 60 countries, over 120 national parks, three oceans, and the five tallest peaks, including Mt. Everest. So far, he has flown the distance of about 25,000 kilometers, covering approximately one third of the way.
To be able to accomplish this feat, Matevž needed a specially modified aircraft able to withstand temperatures reaching -50°C. He will have to brave similar temperatures once again when he attempts to fly over the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest, later on his journey, Pipistrel officials said.
After he returns from the Antarctic, Matevž will be faced with the toughest, most challenging part of his flight: crossing the Pacific ocean. This leg of his flight will include several ocean crossing in excess of 4,000 km without a possiblity of landing. “Extreme distances and severe weather above the Pacific will be by far the toughest challenge for the pilot and his Pipistrel aircraft, but we have no doubt that Matevž’s Virus will perform as well in the continuation of his flight as it did up to now,” Pipistrel officials said.
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