7 summits by Microlight

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(UTC + 5:45)
2-1

News release: 5 March

'Base Camp' at Guidonia

We have established a practice 'Base Camp' at Guidonia air base some 30Km NE Rome courtesy of the Italian Air Force, complete with most of the team, film crew and Eagles.

It is of course not an exact simulation as we will not have any vehicles in Nepal and certainly no illumination (they have thoughtfully turned around some of the street lights so they light our camp at night).

Yesterday we assembled all our kit and today we flew two practice tows to 1500 ft to test out our systems, in particular the Bailey Aviation 'super-trolley' Angelo will have to use in Nepal because the density-altitude at 12,500 ft means he simply won't be able to run fast enough to foot launch at our Syangboche advance base camp.

The trolley has several unique features: It has a highly adjustable steering arrangement which works by two arms in contact with Angelo's harness. He can steer the trolley by normal 'weightshift control' input. The tracking and castor of the front wheels is set so the trolley is very stable at high speed and will continue to track in a straight line after launch. It also has brakes so Angelo can stop quickly in the event of a line break during launch and automatically after launch (to prevent it disappearing over a cliff at the end of the strip).

The trolley needed a couple of small modifications after the first test when the steering links were proven not strong enough, but thereafter it performed as it was designed to. We are very pleased with the design and it is now passed fit for use on 'the real thing'.

We have clearance to 10,000 M for a full-height test either tomorrow or Sunday, depending on the weather. The Italian Air-Force are providing two detailed meteorological briefings daily, at the moment the weather is not looking good, but there may be a window of opportunity tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

We have worked late into the night to prepare everything for tomorrow, in particular we have successfully re-filled our lightweight oxygen bottles to 220 Bar using the booster pump provided by HP-Air / Paramina. This rare hand-operated pump is a real boon to the expedition as it means we can be sure our lightweight filament-wound oxygen bottles provided by Andy Elson and IPT are full to capacity with dry oxygen and we will not be at the mercy of low-pressure source bottles in Nepal.


 

 

 

 
ALPHA emergency parachute
 
 
THE NORTH FACE clothing for extreme conditions
 
 
ICARO 2000 Hang Gliding World Champion
 
 
The FIAT group
 
 
PEGASUS AVIATION manufacturers of fine microlight Aircraft
 
 
Lyndhurst Touchdown Services.  Supplier of fuel system components to the expedition.
 
 
Neltec flexible heaters
 
 
O-ZEE flight suits.  Suppliers of Bar-mitts to the expedition.
 
 
Mainair Sports; UK dealer for Warp Drive Propellors
 
 
AdventureWeather.com providing Meteorological information to the expedition
 
 
BAILEY AVIATION manufacturers of Paramotors and automotive sport acessories
 
 
Articole Studios - GRP mouldings
 
 
Industrial Pressure Testing Ltd; Suppliers of Oxygen cylinders to the expedition.
 
 
MAINAIR SPORTS  manufacturers of fine microlight Aircraft
 
 
SKYDRIVE, the UK Distributor of ROTAX engines
 
 
PARAMINA; Suppliers of Oxygen equipment to the expedition
 
 
Quatar airways
 
 
FLYCOM Intercom and Radio equipment
 
 
Gerbings heated clothing
 
 
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Page last reviewed
9 Mar 2004
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