Sleigh Moved into Launch Position

Vice President, Public Relations at Santa Claus LTD
Managing editor at SantaUpdate.com and Director of North Pole Radio News. Elf Ernest has worked in public relations for Santa for more than 70 years.
Elf Ernest
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Santa’s sleigh has been moved into launch position now in the Sleigh Barn.

What that means is that the sleigh itself is completely ready. It has been washed and waxed. All instruments have been freshly calibrated. Al communication systems have been checked.

Two big things have to happen before launch. The bells need to be brought in and the reindeer need to be hitched to the sleigh. This is a task Santa reserves for himself. He begins about an hour before launch, carefully checking the bridle on each reindeer, talking to them as he moves along. Of course, he starts at the rear with Donner and Blitzen and moves his way forward all the way to Rudolph.

As Santa completes each “team” and moves on the the next week, the bell technicians move in behind him to position the bells. Believe it or not, this is a procedure they practice all the time. It is very important that it is done exactly right.

Because of the weather, as is frequently the case on Christmas Eve at the North Pole, a “short launch” from a standing position from within the sleigh barn is necessary. This means that instead of a slow gradual ascent powered by a long trot the reindeer must begin with a burst of speed like they are running a short race.

As Santa gently walks the reindeer towards the large double doors he briefly stops, gives his command and the reindeer take off like a shot straight into the blowing snow. This too is a procedure they have practiced many times.

To answer those who always ask this question: no, Rudolph’s nose is OFF for this kind of take-off. The reason is because in heavy falling snow his light reflects off the snow flakes. It actually makes it harder for the reindeer to see if it is on. Only after the team is airborne does Rudolph “turn it on”.

Go for Launch

Flight Command Seeks a Go for Launch

Elf News Reporter at Santa Claus LTD
Elf Meg graduated from Southern North Pole University with a degree in journalism. For several years she was a star reporter for the North Pole Gazette and then briefly served as a producer for North Pole Radio News. She brings her experience in media to North Pole Flight Command, serving as both an Elf News Reporter for North Pole Radio News and Managing Editor of North Pole Flight Command.com
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An important process has quietly starting at North Pole Flight Command.

A long check-in process from each sector, from each system, from every department, from each critical component of Santa’s operation is checking in and giving their “go for launch” command.

This means that all checklists have been completed. It means that everything is in readiness. It means that all agree on the launch time for Santa — or set a new time if something is wrong.

This process will take better than 40 hours.

We will let you know if anything stops this process. Stand by for news.

Sleigh Design

Sleigh Heading Back to Europe

Elf News Reporter at Santa Claus LTD
Elf Meg graduated from Southern North Pole University with a degree in journalism. For several years she was a star reporter for the North Pole Gazette and then briefly served as a producer for North Pole Radio News. She brings her experience in media to North Pole Flight Command, serving as both an Elf News Reporter for North Pole Radio News and Managing Editor of North Pole Flight Command.com
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Santa’s sleigh will be heading back to Europe after it was revealed today that some design flaws were detected. Engineers are working on some minor changes to the sleigh and will have new prototypes constructed with the changes in design before the sleigh gets to Europe for additional testing.

It is not expected that the change will result in any delays to testing of the sleigh.

Test pilots of Santa’s sleigh say that the testing period has gone remarkably well. They are hoping to convince Santa to come out to the field to do some test flights himself very soon.

In talking with Santa’s staff, however, it is not something that Santa will have time for. He is putting as much time in as he can in visiting with children via video chat. So we’ll see if we can get him in the sleigh sometime soon.

By the way, it’s normal for Santa NOT to even see the sleigh in the weeks before he takes off. He trusts his team at Research and Development and the test pilots to get the job done.

That being said, Santa has been more involved with the design of the sleigh this year than he has been in many decades.

Santa is a very avid aviator. He loves to fly. He also hold many world records, for speed, distance and endurance.

We are also pleased to report that we have now many more additional reindeer who have volunteered for duty since their return to the North Pole.

Flights are going very well.

 

Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving Break Announced for Test Flights

Elf News Reporter at Santa Claus LTD
Elf Meg graduated from Southern North Pole University with a degree in journalism. For several years she was a star reporter for the North Pole Gazette and then briefly served as a producer for North Pole Radio News. She brings her experience in media to North Pole Flight Command, serving as both an Elf News Reporter for North Pole Radio News and Managing Editor of North Pole Flight Command.com
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A Thanksgiving break for test flights of Santa’s sleigh was announced today so that test pilots and reindeer can be with their families. They will also be able to take part in the planned festivities at the North Pole for Thanksgiving.

This is the final break on the schedule for this year.

For many of our test pilots the “real” testing of Santa’s sleigh takes place after Thanksgiving anyway. For months now the flights have focused on refining the sleigh design. Now the focus will be on stabilizing the sleigh’s performance at high speeds under all kinds of weather conditions.

Some call this the “danger zone” — when Santa’s sleigh is tested to the limit.

For our test pilots, however, these are critical tests. Nobody flies the sleigh faster than Santa will. Every year the new sleigh gets rigorous testing because Santa will be looking to beat all previous speed records. He needs to constantly improve so that he can keep up with the demands of the world. Speed equals time, which is very precious to Santa and his merry job.

So the testing of the sleigh in the next few weeks is very important.

Where is Santa’s sleigh headed AFTER Thanksgiving?

I don’t know that yet. But once the big wigs at Flight Command meet and plan I will be sure to let you know. I’m sure Santa has some direction for them too.

But for the next few days they will be hanging near the North Pole — and they will be taking Thursday off, for sure.