The Coldest Journey is the first ever attempt to cross the Antarctic continent during the polar winter and is led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes ‘the world’s greatest living explorer’ (Guinness World Records).
The traverse of the Antarctic will take place between the two seasonal equinoxes, 21 March – 21 September 2013. Two Finning Caterpillar D6N track-type tractors will pull, among other things, 14 pods containing 70,000 litres of Jet A1 aviation fuel. Unloading the fuel from drums and transferring the fuel each day will be undertaken by Blackmer XL1-5A and a Blackmer XB1C pumps respectively.
These pumps because they are are able to handle the low viscosity fuel at temperatures down to -90ºC and have been previously used in cold weather applications by NERC British Antarctic Survey.
The Blackmer sliding vane pump operates through the employment of a number of vanes that slide into or out of slots in the pump rotor when the pump is rotating. Because the self-adjusting sliding vanes continuously adjust for wear, sliding vane pumps are able to maintain their near original efficiency and capacity throughout the life of the pump. The pump speed does not need to be increased over time.
The expedition will raise US$10 million for ‘Seeing is Believing’, a global initiative to tackle avoidable blindness in developing countries.