August 30, 2017 was Media Day for Airbus Perlan Mission II in El Calafate, Argentina. The journalists were interested in hearing the standard briefing with Jim in English and Miguel in Spanish, seeing the glider preparation and watching the launch from Runway 7. The Airbus Eurocopter was briefed for photo chase by James Darcy, Jim, Tim and helicopter pilot Julio. Jamie's hands are in the classic "pilot tells a story" position. The weather did not cooperate for any high altitude attempts with surface winds from the east and just above ground level the winds were from the NNW. Jim and Tim completed a roller coaster maneuver with various g forces for analysis of Perlan 2 flying qualities. They tested the new inflight window purge system. Tim was able to get the ultimate selfie of helicopter papararzzi. He also got several good ones of the original airport which has now been incorporated into town housing, the newer airport which we are flying from, and turning base leg with wing and spoiler in view. A photographer from the ground captured the tow plane, Perlan 2 and Eurocopter all in the same frame, just like Jamie's briefing. And there is a unique perspective of ground ops chief Stewart riding the wing from inside Perlan 2 looking out.
The landing was in calm winds on runway 25 with a nice cloud backdrop. (Landing video https://youtu.be/oDY94h7I1-o ) Today's pilots got out of Perlan 2 and were joined for photo ops by all Perlan pilots. ( Egress video https://youtu.be/u7z1SxACsGs ) The remaining journalists gathered by the long wings of Perlan 2. We bid farewell to Ken and Sonia McKenzie as well as Paul Eremenko, Saul Lopez and Katy Gundy. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the Media Day professional and promising.
And I will leave you with a still photo from our 360 camera. El Calafate town is below left wing, Airbus Eurocopter is off the right wing, and Lago Argentino is out front. Perlan 2 is above a local ridge with snow on top of it.
Perlan Soars! Perlan Se Eleva! Jackie