Matevž Lenarčič on his flight around the world!

Keep track of Matevž's progress!
Matevž Lenarčič is flying a solo around-the-world flight,  from East to West.
More information about the entire project at Matevž's website:


Track Matevž's progress LIVE here:

Matevž is flying a Pipistrel Virus-SW 914 - the fastest aircraft in its category in the world, and the most fuel-efficient. Its qualities have been confirmed in the NASA competition, where it won prestigious awards two years in a row.

Matevž has already accomplished several extreme flights, including a full around-the world flight, also with a Pipistrel Sinus back in 2004:

This time the challenge is even greater - Matevž is flying in the westbound direction, which is much more difficult due to meteorologic conditions and crossing vast oceanic regions.

Matevž will cross the equator 6 times at temperatures over +50°C, cover over 80 000 km of distance, fly over 7 continents (incl. a brief visit of Antarctic), over more than 50 countries, over 120 National Parks and 3 Oceans and on his path he will fly over 5 tallest peaks of the continents, including Mt. Everest, the world's tallest mountain - at altitudes where the temperatures will fall below -50°C.

Ecology note
On his path Matevž will attempt to burn the smallest amount of fuel per distance flown and make a book about World waters.

The Green Light World Flight project will prove that it is possible to make such a flight differently – with lower fuel consumption and less pollution. In addition, all those involved in the project will be able to show how light aircraft can be used to collect significant scientific climate data, as the aircraft will be carrying a device developed by the Aerosol company which measures the concentration of atmospheric aerosol - black dust in the air - which has not been done before. The results will contribute to understanding the greenhouse effect. The Jožef Stefan Institute is also involved in the project, studying the effects of extreme temperature and hypoxic environment on the body.


The aircraft
Building an aircraft, capable of all these feats, was a great challenge for the Pipistrel team.

The aircraft must safely operate when flying at very high temperatures during equator crossings or very low polar temperatures and extreme altitudes (up to 10,000 meters above Mt. Everest). In addition, the fuel consumption must remain at very low levels, as some stages are over 4000 km long, and the amount of fuel on board of such a small aircraft is very limited. Only by an ideal combination of weight, drag and lift the required results can be achieved. The aim is to fly over 80,000km (twice the circumference of Earth's) around the World in with a minimal use of 95 octane automotive-grade unleaded fuel. Besides high cruising speeds close to 300km/h (160kts), the aircraft must remain stable at very low speeds below 80km/h (43kts).

Up until this moment, there has been no such aircraft in exsistence, so Pipistrel sets new standards in environmentally-friendly and utility flying.
To fullfill all Matevž's requirements, we chose our double NASA-challenge winner the Virus SW and gave it a thorough make-over;
we equipped it with a Rotax 914 Turbo engine and added an Intercooler unit.

The aircraft is equipped with the widest range of avionics, navigation equipment, IFR systems, auto-pilots, radios etc, making it a technological wonder.
Due to all that, a second generator was added for redundancy of  the avionics.
The aircraft is capable to speeds over 300 km/h (160 kts) at the cruising altitude.
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At a press conference a few days before the start of his flight, Matevž had said:
"I trust Pipistrel unconditionally. I visit each and every aircraft fair to find the best aircraft for my extreme flights. I keep seeking for a better aircraft, but I am always forced to return to Pipistrel - there simply is no choice. If I want the best aircraft, it has to be a Pipistrel. "

The world-wide network of Pipistrel distributors are standing ready to help Matevž on his 10-week journey. If needed, they will provide technical and logistic help.

Matevž Lenarčič
Matevž is an excellent pilot with over 3500 hours of flight and holds IFR and night flight ratings.
He is an adventurist, biologist, photographer, alpinist, environmentalist and above all - a very strong, positive personality. We fully believe he will accomplish his mission.


Matevž set off on Saturday, 7. January 2012 at 8.00 AM CET from the international airport of Jože Pučnik Ljubljana. 
You can keep track of his progress on these websites:

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Team Pipistrel would like to thank everyone who helped in making this project a reality, all the sponsors and especially Rotax who generously contributed an engine for Matevž's aircraft.

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