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jcomm

Can a flight be made between Alaska and the Hawaii...

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I was wondering why we'd seen no footage from the PAX East thing, and that clip is short, but it does look like the Maule, certainly a tail dragger.

 

Initial excitement at mention of a "jet-based fighter plane" somewhat flattened when I replayed it and found he actually said "Japanese fighter plane". Ah well.

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jcomm,

 

I wonder if it would be possible to go from Hawaii to Alaska by glider? I remember watching a documentary on gliders not that long ago and was absolutely shocked by how far they can go with a skilled operator especially with one of the newer gliders that have impressive glide ratios! I doubt it could be done for very long over the ocean as I would think it would be difficult finding good thermals over the ocean to keep going...

 

Since you're the glider expert, do you know if gliders have ever attempted relatively long distance over-water flight?

 

I'll try to find out with my colleagues, but I don't believe it has been done particularly because, as you say, there are no thermals of sufficient power over the Ocean... There is sometimes huge convection, associated with frontal systems etc... but that's not certainly the type of weather a glider pilot should fly accross/in...

 

Lee Waves could possibly be used, but it would have to be a really big wave system, giving you enough altitude in between to ensure the glide between upstream zones...

 

I'll try to find more on this subject :-)

 

There's an interesting paper article here

 

Meanwhile look here for a nice video of a NASA probe glider being flown near a thunderstorm :-)

 

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I took a look at the Corsair's stats on the Market page and saw this:

 

Maximum Range: 1300 nm

 

Assuming that leaning out at high altitude yields a range doubling like with the Maule, you can make it all the way to Alaska in one hop.

 

Have fun with that.

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