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HIPPO IV :: Research Flight 02 :: Northern Polar Region

June 16, 2011

HIPPO IV RF02The 8-hour long flight from Anchorage, Alaska to 84º North and back performed 5 dips and collected critical data from the Arctic regions.

The GV traveled as far north as possible, and made it all the way to 84° North, just 6° shy of the North Pole. The aircraft needed enough fuel to get back to Anchorage, which is why it turned around when it did, but it still was able to get great samples of the atmosphere at northern latitudes.

A missed approach was completed in Fairbanks, Alaska. During the missed approach, the aircraft is maneuvered as if it were going to land, then a few hundred feet above the surface, prior to "landing", the airplane starts to climb and ascend back into the atmosphere. Missed approaches are well-planned maneuvers that allow the scientists to collect data at low levels over land where flying at such low altitudes is prohibited.


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