Airbus Perlan 2 glider all set for record breaking 90,000ft edge of space flight.
Perlan 2 the Airbus-backed engineless plane designed to fly to the edge of space is set to carry out a record-breaking 90,000ft high altitude flight in June which could pave the way for hypersonic planes.
The Perlan 2 is a pressurised glider designed to fly most efficiently at 50,000 ft however, the plane can also fly at sea level as well as 90,000 ft.
It has an 84 ft long wingspan, can carry two pilots, scientific instruments, life support, two safety parachutes and weighs the same as a 1967 VW Beetle (apparently!).
A return trip to such a high altitude usually requires enough jet power to thrust a craft through the stratosphere, aviation specialists have built the Perlan 2 glider capable of reaching the edge of space using nothing but wind.
The flight which will take place over Argentina when meteorological conditions are favourable will be a world altitude record for wing-borne flight, exceeding records set by the U-2 and SR-71 US military recognisance planes.
Flights will explore the science of giant mountain waves that help create the ozone hole and change global climate models.
The two-person crew will reach speeds of over 400mph in the engineless plane as it reaches the target altitude, they will only be able to breathe pure oxygen using similar kit to that of astronauts.
“People like to say that the sky’s the limit,” said Allan McArtor, Chairman and CEO of Airbus Group, Inc., “but Perlan proves that the sky is not the limit, it’s only a starting point. We hope
We hope Perlan will inspire a new generation of young aerospace pioneers, and we want to be the kind of company that they will grow up wanting to work for.”
The pressurized Perlan 2 glider was developed by The Perlan Project, a volunteer-run, non-profit endeavor headed by leaders in aerospace and engineering.
It is supported by Airbus Group and a collection of other sponsors that includes United Technologies, Weather Extreme Ltd. and BRS Aerospace.
“We’re excited that Airbus Perlan Mission II is initiating its critical flight testing phase in preparations for our record-breaking flights in Argentina,” said Ed Warnock, CEO of the Perlan Project. “
Future of Flight
Airbus has invested recently in a few notable ‘small scale’ aviation developments including the electric E-Fan, a battery powered plane which can fly for an hour and reach speeds of up to 136mph.
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com