Perlan Mission II Glider To Attempt World Altitude Record
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Perlan Mission II Glider To Attempt World Altitude Record

September 21, 2015 - The Perlan 2 glider, the world's first engineless aircraft designed to reach the edge of space, will, weather permitting, attempt its first flight, a historic moment in global aviation that will open up a world of new discoveries related to aeronautics, climate change and space exploration. 

On Wednesday, at approx. 11:00 AM Eastern time will make its first flight from Robert's Field, Redmond Municipal Airport, Redmond, Oregon.

The Perlan 2 glider has been developed by the Perlan Project, a volunteer-run, nonprofit endeavor headed by leaders in aerospace and engineering, supported by Airbus Group and a group of other sponsors that includes Weather Extreme Ltd., United Technologies, and BRS Aerospace.


This is the first test flight for the Perlan 2 glider, which will attempt to set a new world altitude record for any airplane in 2016, and will do it without an engine. This will be the first of many flights over the coming year as the Airbus Perlan Mission II team prepares to soar the aircraft to the edge of space at 90,000 feet in Argentina. Next year's flight is expected to exceed even the altitudes achieved by the U-2 and the SR-71.

The Perlan 2 is a pressurized sailplane designed to ride air currents to the edge of space where the air density is less than 2 percent of what it is at sea level. It will carry a crew of two, plus scientific instruments that will provide new insight into climate change and our upper atmosphere.

The mission will also provide lessons in how aircraft might operate in the thin atmosphere of Mars. Despite having no engine, the glider's true flight speed at 90,000 feet will be 400+ mph. The crew will breathe pure oxygen provided by a rebreather system. In Perlan Mission I, Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson flew the Perlan 1 research glider to 50,772 feet, a new record altitude for gliders, in the mountain waves at El Calafate, Argentina, on Aug. 30, 2006. The Perlan 1 is now on permanent display at the Seattle Museum of Flight.



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