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HIPPO III Research Flight 02 :: Northern Polar Region

March 26, 2010

HIPPO III :: RF02 forward cameraThe crew seemed particularly excited about the northern polar flight, from Anchorage, AK to 85° north, back to Anchorage. The prospects of seeing the data in real-time while flying over this amazing landscape had both the pilots and scientists buzzing with excitement pre-flight.

Data collection went smooth, and all instruments were working properly. Unfortunately, no polar bears were sighted in the polar regions. However, the crew aboard the G-V was treated to an amazing view of Mt. McKinley and the surrounding Alaskan topography.

Two missed approaches were performed during Research Flight 02: one at Fairbanks Airport (FAI) and another at Deadhorse Airport (SCC), near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Once over the sea-ice, three more dips were performed, and none were performed once they turned back towards Anchorage, AK at 85° north, to conserve fuel enabling them to fly as far north as they did. The dips and missed approaches allow the scientist to collect data of vertical profiles of the atmosphere. The flight was able to reach 85° north due to the direct linear flight plan, which is the farthest north that the HIPPO crew has flown to sample the atmosphere. The aircraft is unable to fly to 90° north, or the North Pole because they need to be able to fly out and back from Anchorage, AK safely on one load of fuel.

G-V preparing for a landing in Anchorage,
AK after the polar flight

G-V appraoching the Anchorage, AK
airportat the end of RF02
HIPPO III :: RF02 :: Arctic Sea Ice
Sea Ice & Left Wing
HIPPO III :: RF02 :: Danali
HIPPO III :: RF02 :: Harvard Team
Harvard team at 85° north
HIPPO III :: RF03 :: Inlet Shadows
Inlet Shadows
HIPPO III :: RF02 :: Deadhorse, AK Missed Approach
Missed approach at Deadhorse
Airport, AK
HIPPO III :: RF02 :: Jasna Working
Jasna Pitmann working on the
CO2 Instrument
HIPPO III :: RF02 :: Northern Alaska
Northern Alaska
HIPPO III :: RF02 :: Northern Alaska 2
Northern Alaska

VIDEO :: HIPPO III RF02 from Forward Looking Camera



HIPPO is a landmark study for many reasons, not the least of which is it is the first time scientists have systematically mapped global distribution of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, covering the full troposphere in all seasons and multiple years.

  • HIPPO I :: 8 January-30 January 2009
  • HIPPO II :: 31 October-22 November 2009
  • HIPPO III :: 24 March-16 April 2010
  • HIPPO IV :: 14 June-11 July 2011
  • HIPPO V :: 9 August-9 September 2011