Pipistrel Virus Proves Efficiency Around the World

** Pilot Matevz Lenarcic exits the specially-
modified Pipistrel Virus after his around-the-
world flight.**

Matevž Lenarčič emerged smiling as he exited the Pipistrel Virus SW 914 Turbo last week after completing the GreenLight WorldFlight journey, which started and ended at the Jože Pučnik airport in Brnik outside Ljubljana, Slovenia. The flight, which began on January 8, was not an attempt to circumvent the globe in record time, but rather a display of efficiency and performance as the LSA crisscrossed the continents, successfully completing extreme missions such as a flight above Mt. Everest and a 2,000 nm flight from Concepcion, Chile to Easter Island.

At the completion of the journey, the flight had produced some incredible numbers. According to Pipistrel, the average fuel burn was a meager 4.78 gph during the 369 hours flown. The total distance was 49,138 nm, 17,873 of which were above water. The average ground speed was a little over 133 knots with an average headwind of 12 knots. The highest recorded ground speed was 190 knots and the highest recorded altitude was 29,413 feet near Mt. Everest.

However, don’t expect to get these kinds of performance numbers out of your Pipistrel Virus. There were several modifications made to the LSA prior to its departure, including installing a Rotax 914 Turbo engine, modifying the intercooler, incorporating a fuselage fuel tank, attaching more efficient wings and switching the third wheel from the front to the rear, to name a few.

Flying solo around the world in a small airplane may seem exotic, but unfortunately it doesn’t happen without moments of boredom and leg cramps, as displayed in this video, which also features some of Lenarčič‘s beautiful footage from remote locations around the globe.

To read more about the Virus, read Peter Garrison's story here.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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