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Thread: Wanted - Spotters for circumnavigation

  1. #1
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    Wanted - Spotters for circumnavigation

    Wanted: Spotters for round-the-world plane

    Depending on weather conditions, the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer aircraft is to wing its way into the sky this month from the Salina Municipal Airport in Kansas. The goal for the plane and its pilot, adventurer Steve Fossett, is to set a world record for the first solo, nonstop, non-refueled circumnavigation of the world.

    Project officials are on the lookout for those willing to look up. You might be an amateur astronomer, run a university observatory, or be a missile tracking specialist, whatever Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer is creating a network of "Spotter Stations" who can help track the craft as it attempts to make history.

    Can you see 45,000 feet ... straight up? If so, your observing acumen is wanted. The aircraft will be flying at approximately that altitude. It will be in darkness for much of its flight. Those with the appropriate technology could take video or still images for rebroadcast over the Web, to bring those sightings to the viewing world using the Internet.

    The Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer is currently planning to pass over or near the following major cities on its round the world flight: Montreal, London, Paris, Rome, Cairo, Karachi, Shanghai, Tokyo, Honolulu, Los Angeles and Chicago.

    For those wanting to apply, an email should be sent to Spotters@virginatlanticglobalflyer.com.

    To apply, describe what technical capability you have available, and what support and commitment you will be able to give during the flight attempt. Project officials say they reply to applicants with more details.

  2. #2
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    Re: Wanted - Spotters for circumnavigation

    I will be spotting the takeoff and Landing as I live in Salina Kansas.

  3. #3
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    It's going nowhere near me. That's too bad, it would have been interesting to try to spot.

  4. #4
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    Far, far away from me, sadly.

  5. #5
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    I notice that all those cities are in the Northern Hemisphere. That makes me wonder: is there any agreed-on standard of length for around-the-world trips? Requiring a great circle seems too stringent, but flying up to the North Pole and circling around it is obviously cheating. So where's the cutoff?

  6. #6
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    The other article says the route includes Pakistan, India, China, Japan and Hawaii. If they stay around 30 deg latitude, that's 86% (root 3 over 2) of the great circle route. They probably are depending upon the jet stream.

  7. #7
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    I don't have the means to spot it at 45,000 ft, but if it's flying a route from near Montreal to London, there's a fair chance it'll pass overhead. Cool.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  8. #8
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    Voyager Clone

    All,
    Looks like Burt Rutan dusted down the plans for Voyager, (See http://www.centennialofflight.gov/es...tan/GA15G1.htm ) put an extra control surface on the end of the booms and sold it to the millionaire. Fosset will be circumnavigating at 45,000? Sure he'll use the jet stream - Yeager and Rutan didn't get above 15,000, and they sold T-shirts to raise the cash!
    Sorry to be negative, but this is just a re-make of a classic!
    John

  9. #9
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    Re: Voyager Clone

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD
    this is just a re-make of a classic!
    Except for the flying solo part. For 66 hours?

  10. #10
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    It will be in darkness for much of its flight.


    can someone explain this to me? shouldn't it be half, or roughly half (give or take...let's see. 72-66=6.)

    of a three day period, just over half should be at night, a little less than half by day...is it enough to say mostly though?

    "hi mom, i'm going to fly around the world tonight, be back in three days..."

    "ok, don't forget to put your hat on or you'll catch cold!"

    or something similar...:s

  11. #11
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    66 hours? Pshaw!

    ATP,
    Hmmmmm. 66 hours, eh? That's the estimated time for the Fosset flight? Voyager took NINE DAYS.
    Dick Rutan spent the first three days in the flying seat of Voyager. The plane was so critical that even with the autopilot it took "most of our concentration" to keep it in the air. When the planekeeping duties were included, Yeager and he estimated that it needed 1.8 people's attention at all times.
    And the last line of their book? "Would we do it again? No one can do it again. And that is the best thing about it." I agree.

    I'm not knocking Fosset. His will be a great adventure, but I don't think it can compare with the Voyager epic.
    John

  12. #12
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    It'd be nice if they had a map.

  13. #13
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    If they take off on the right day, I might drive up to see it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by man on the moon
    It will be in darkness for much of its flight.


    can someone explain this to me? shouldn't it be half, or roughly half (give or take...let's see. 72-66=6.)

    of a three day period, just over half should be at night, a little less than half by day...is it enough to say mostly though?
    probably not, since your quote says "much of its flight"

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