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
Latest posts by Elf Ernest (see all)

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”.

Final Test Flight Extended

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
Elf Meg Nogg
Latest posts by Elf Meg Nogg (see all)

The final test flight of Santa’s sleigh has been extended several hours. Flight engineers are testing ground based tracking and communication systems under adverse weather conditions.

These are not critical tests. They are just trying to make sure Santa can communicate in storms that he might encounter later tonight.

We still anticipate the sleigh returning in plenty of time to get it ready for Santa to launch on time.

Test Flight Pilor

Pilot for Final Test Flight of Santa’s Sleigh

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
Elf Meg Nogg
Latest posts by Elf Meg Nogg (see all)

The final test flight of Santa’s Sleigh is now officially scheduled to depart in about 12 hours. North Pole Flight Command has announced that veteran pilot Elf Ace McHenry will take command of the flight.

Being the final test flight pilot is a singular honor for elves who serve as part of the North Pole Air Force. It is generally recognized that the pilot chosen for this duty as distinguished themselves above others during the course of the year in helping to contribute to the cause of Santa.

To get the honor is to more or less win a spot in the Test Pilot Hall of Fame at the North Pole.

The honor is a long time coming for Commander McHenry, who has served in the North Pole Air Force for many years. He has long been considered an elite pilot, one of the very best that Santa has.

We will, as always, track the path of the final test flight of Santa’s sleigh when it launches from the North Pole.

Final Tweaks to Santa's Sleigh

Final Tweaks Made to Santa’s Sleigh

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
Elf Meg Nogg
Latest posts by Elf Meg Nogg (see all)

Over in the sleigh barn a very special version of Santa’s sleigh is being worked on: the actual sleigh that Santa will use.

Dozens of sleighs are made over the course of the year as the new sleigh design is developed, tested and refined. With each flight pilots come back with new information and suggestions. By the time Santa actually gets to fly the sleigh it has become the most tested flying sleigh on the face of the earth.

This final sleigh is being worked on today. It has been painted. It has been customized in every detail to Santa’s every preference. It will sit there in the sleigh barn until the Final Test Flight takes off on December 23rd. It will be flown around the world one final time by one lucky test pilot.

It is scheduled to return late in the afternoon of December 23rd. When it returns it will be washed, waxed and loaded for Santa.

Santa will launch according to the countdown on every Official North Pole website.

You can follow the path of the final test flight right here on our map page.