The "ice-flight" from Christchurch to McMurdo Station on the Ross Sea of Antarctica is roughly equivalent in distance to flying New York to San Francisco, but it takes eight to nine hours because we lumber down in a 1960s era LC-130 US Air Force turbo-prop plane. Below is a photo of the exterior after landing.
|LC-130 turbo-prop on the Ross Ice Shelf|
The landing gear has wheels that retract through gaps in the skis, which allows for landing on the frozen sea next to McMurdo.
Here are some photos of the plane's interior:
There's ample leg-room and spare seats, but the seat-backs improvised from netting get old after a few hours. The front half of the plane is filled with passengers and the back half is used for gear. I'm not sure what that large engine looking thing is in the back.
I had a friend in Grad school who had been an undergrad at Harvey Mudd. He had this story about a road trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras where they bought a used city bus and filled it with old couches. They also made a urinal from a funnel, surgical tubing, and a drilled hole in the side of the bus. I imagine it it was similar in spirit to the one on the plane seen below. The bathroom itself was improvised from a tarp.
The plane lands at the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, about 15 miles from McMurdo. As a final sucker-punch after the long flight, the bus ride takes about 1.5 hours because the bus rides at ~10mph so as to not damage the "road."