ANTARCTIC CIRCLE 2004-2006
South pol'air

South Pol'Air is set to be Angelo's next aerial conquest. He will cross over the South Pole on a glider propelled only by wind, just like the great albatross.

The albatross makes its nest along the South Pole coast of the Antarctic Peninsula : it is the best known glider amongst the various species of migratory sea birds. They can fly over the oceans for thousands of kilometres by using a flying technique known as Dynamic Soaring. By emulating this technique Angelo will be able to attempt to cross the Antartic ice-cap.

This time Angelo's research, in a hostile and partly unexplored continent, will be driven by the incredible and mysterious flight of the albatross.

Angelo d'Arrigo will attempt to cross over the South Pole during the 2005-2006 Austral Summer along the route taken by the explorer and pilot Richard E. Byrd between 1933 and 1935. Captain Byrd in his Ford trimotor plane was the first pilot to cross the Antarctic ice-cap.

Angelo is going to try it again, but this time gliding in a hang glider like an albatross, just using wind as his engine.

 

The albatross actually covers thousands of kilometres in flight above the oceans by using a special flying technique known as Dynamic Soaring.

The albatross, an extraordinary flight...

 

The albatross makes its nest on the very shores of the South Pole along the Antarctic Circle . Of the many species of migratory birds, the albatross is without doubt the greatest glider: it can travel long distances without flapping its wings. This type of flight, known as "Dynamic Soaring", characteristically allows the albatross to save energy and so to fly for thousands of kilometres over the oceans.

 

As with Himalayan eagles and Siberian cranes, Angelo will make use of a scientific technique known as "imprinting", discovered by Nobel Prize winner Konrad Lorenz in the 1950s. As a result of Angelo's latest feats, he has made a novel application of the technique: he will start the imprinting process from an incubated albatross egg in collaboration with the Swiss Ornithological Institute of the University of Biology in Bern (one of Europe's most active naturalist research centres) he will begin the imprinting procedure from. As the egg cracks open, the only living thing in the newborn chick's field of view will be Angelo with his hang glider; this will induce the albatross to regard Angelo as its natural parent and so it will follow him in flight, mirroring what normally happens in nature. They will fly together for a whole season.

 

South pol air planning

Angelo will attempt his new feat only after a long period of living together in symbiosis with the albatross in order to interpret and understand its flying technique.

 

In December 2005, before setting off for his "Aerial Conquest of the South Pole", Angelo will reintroduce the fully self sufficient adult albatross to its natural environment on the shores of the Antarctic ice-cap. A prototype of wings with characteristics that are similar to those of the albatross' will be built on the results of scientific, naturalistic and aerodynamic research and thanks to the support of specialist bodies. These wings will allow Angelo to fly like an albatross and thus to cross the ice-cap, an area of the planet with one of the harshest and most extreme climates, just like an albatross. A new Challenge in which Mankind, mimicking Nature, raises itself to unprecedented heights.

 

This will be Angelo's next adventure: to analyse, study and emulate the flying technique of the albatross in order to cross over the South Pole using a natural new ecological energy source - wind. And for Mankind, on the wings of the future, he will continue to make new discoveries looking towards new horizons....