Engineering

Project Perlan, Airbus goes to Outer Space with Gliders.

World premiere: in the summer a glider rise for the first time to the limit space. 27 km high. Strong winds are needed for a needed boost. In Argentina there at the edge of the Andes. The non-profit project Perlan is largely financed by Airbus.

Perlan II is a two-seat glider with a wingspan of 25.6 m. The maximum weight is 816 kg. The two pilots need a pressure equalization system, as it is in principle in every commercial aircraft for flights at high altitude. Because not enough energy is available but in a glider, a system was installed, which is similar to some diving equipment. This is among other things the exhaled air captured and recovered from the residual oxygen. In the pressurized cabin of the glider, a pressure should be for all flights at high altitude, which corresponds to the normal conditions at 4400 m above sea level, explains chief pilot Jim Payne.

Project Perlan 3

So far nine test have been done. Flights was successful.

When the nine test flights, “Perlan II” reaches end of February a maximum flight altitude of 3260 m. These flights with a duration of a total of five and a half hours were extensive tests to document the proper functioning of the glider. Flew has been doing in the United States, where in the town of Minden in the State of Oregon, on the Pacific Coast “Perlan II”, developed and built. There for at least two more flights are planned for the next three months, the aircraft the 9100 m (30,000 ft) rise to let.

Foto: Perlan Project
Foto: Perlan Project

Very few powered military and research aircraft are so far ventured at those altitudes, the non flayer Perlan II to achieve this year. Under the weather to be expected in Argentina in the summer, the Perlan team keeps up to eight extreme flights of fancy possible: In August and September, there is the by far the highest mountain waves in the air in Argentina.

High buoyancy by mountain waves

The topography of the American Pacific coast is not suitable for the targeted flights at extreme altitudes. Therefore, the flights planned for August and September in Argentina will be held, where so-called mountain waves occur at the edge of the Andes.

These are rapid air effects along very high mountains, which make possible a boost at very high altitude. Perlan II should not only use this mountain waves, but at the same time explore. This is the glider with a wide range of scientific instruments.

Airbus head Enders speaks of “historical task”

“The Airbus project Perlan Mission II is a historic undertaking in the sense of the Aviation pioneers of the first hour,” Airbus Chief Tom commented Edwards. Up to 27 km altitude (90,000 feet), the glider pilot to soar this year and reach the limit to all. But it’s more than a world record. Enders: “the findings from this project will affect significantly the global understanding of climate change and climate protection. In addition, they help Airbus to promote innovative solutions for a higher, faster, and greener flying on Earth and possibly in outer space.”

4 Perlan Project
Perlan Project, Glider that goes to the outer space…