Santa’s Sleigh is truly the pinnacle of aviation achievement and the envy of airlines the world over. Operating purely on reindeer power (or Christmas cheer depending on who you talk to), this aircraft is able to take off and land on the tiniest of rooftops and achieve speeds that make it possible to circumnavigate the globe in a single night.
The Wright Brothers have long been credited with inventing aircraft flight, but they didn’t take off until the early 1900s. Santa Claus was the true pioneer, cruising the skies as early as 1823, with the publication of a now-famous poem which brought to life the version of the big guy in red that we all recognize today.
Operator: St. Nicholas (Santa Claus).
Manufacturer: Santa’s Workshop.
Country: North Pole.
First Flight: Unknown, but the first mention of the aircraft appears in print in 1823.
Fuel Capacity: Seemingly infinite.
Operating Range: The entire circumference of the globe - at least 40,075 km.
Crew: Just one jolly old fat man in a red suit.
Cargo: Several billion presents.
Cruise Speed: At the blink of an eye.
Engine: Eight reindeer, nine on one foggy Christmas Eve. Additional power may be supplied by Christmas cheer.
Height: 55 candy canes (according to NORAD), which measures approximately three metres.
Length: 75 candy canes (according to NORAD) or a smidge over four metres.
Did You Know?
Every year, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) tracks Santa’s progress around the planet. You can follow his movements on NORAD’s website and even play a new festive game every day.
The YVR Connection
Santa is so organized this year that he’s got time to pop into YVR’s terminals to visit with passengers during the busy travel season. Check our holiday events calendar for details.
Finally, check out this video of Santa’s stopover at YVR.