The test flights of Santa’s sleigh are headed over North America over the next several days. Engineers are transitioning the sleigh to the skies over the waters of the active Atlantic hurricane season.
“Yes, we’re headed for these active Atlantic storm systems on purpose,” said Flight Engineer Elf Miles Hansen, a designer who has played a big part in this year’s sleigh. “We need strong winds and heavy weather and a hurricane or two will fit the bill just fine.”
Yes, these are dangerous flights. Sleigh test pilots train for extreme conditions and are up to the challenge of the test. Nevertheless, the North Pole Navy is also transitioning to mid-Atlantic waters to serve as a safety backup.
“We won’t actually see the sleigh in flight over the Atlantic ocean until sometime next week,” Elf Miles said. “We have to clear North America first and there are some things we want to accomplish over the continent. We will be doing flights over land in the next several days, but mostly late at night. Some of these will be dark tests, where the sleigh cannot be seen. However, we also have slated some special tests require lights for more accurate data acquisition. That will possibly make the sleigh visible. We do not have a precise location yet for these lighted tests.”
The test flights over North America that he is talking about require a certain level of winds and even storm activity. Engineers are meeting with North Pole weather forecasters to determine best locations. It should be noted as well that the North Pole wants to avoid areas out west where fires are being fought, as well as major metropolitan airports where regular plane activity is high.
We will try to keep you posted.