I wish it was a Cirrus, but I wish him God Speed.http://www.xprize.org/mission_control/index.htm
My turn to be a curmudgeon. This Atlantic hop in a modern, single engine plane specially outfitted for the ferry flight is simply not newsworthy.
My personal opinion is that its a publicity stunt for Lancair plus a little glory-hounding by the grandson. Although I wish anyone doing something like this good luck, its no more interesting than any other trans-atlantic ferry flight.
Now, if he actually reprised his grandfather’s flight - if he did it in one of the three replica “Spirit of St. Louis” aircraft, with all the modern avionics, engine monitoring, and navigation aids stripped out, and a remanufactured (or newly manufactured) exact copy of the original engine installed, and nothing on board safety-wise, comfort-wise, or navigation-wise that his grandfather didn’t have, and under the exact same weather conditions, THAT would be worth following.
Oh, and I’d expect him to take off and land on similar unlit grass fields, in the dark.
It was a great accomplishment 75 years ago and today it is still an adventure to do this trip in a single engine airplane! I believe it is fair to say that most of us would have second thoughts in attempting this! Furthermore this man has overcome great personal adversity. He is also getting positive national attention to the possibilities of Single engine General Aviation and his fund raising cause. I am excited and proud to see Eric Lindberg succeed in his adventure (as of this exact time of writing not yet completed) in a “Cirrus Like” type of airplane.
Read the PDF files on the xprize web site to learn about the man and his reasons before you speak to harshly about him.
I wasn’t speaking harshly about him. I was criticizing the EVENT. Re-read my post if you’re unsure of that fact. (O.K. I did say he was glory-hounding. If he was doing this just for his personal satisfaction and goals, there would be no publicity, but my comment is still targeted at the EVENT, not him as a person…)
I’ve read a great deal, in various publications, about him, and about the charities he’s working with. I still don’t find the flight any more newsworthy than any other charity fund-raiser event, and as a person who works with grass roots charities supporting local and regional needs, I feel like the money spent on this grandstanding event could have helped quite a lot of folks significantly.
Finally, I recognize that my opinion is not a popular one, especially among folks who don’t realize or care that the millions of dollars wasted on this event, its news coverage, and television hype could have been donated directly to charities. Its a wasteful publicity stunt. That is why I prefaced my post with the phrase “My turn to be a curmudgeon.”