A critical upgrade for 2018 was to build a new front hatch. The original clearly worked to 54,000 feet, thanks to Keith Kongslie's work in 2016. But it was not a perfect match between hatch and fuselage. Jim and Greg decided perfection was the goal. And on May 4 (Star Wars Day - May the fourth ...be with you) perfection was accomplished. Greg Scates and Mike Malis have worked on the front hatch project for months. Both are retired from Lockheed Martin and have decades of composite experience between them.
Perlan’s blog collects the thoughts and experiences of team members from the multiple disciplines needed to build and prepare the aircraft, plan the flight, and carry out the mission. Here, you’ll find insights from the designers, craftspeople, pilots, meteorologists, and support personnel who will make Perlan’s record ascents a reality. Perlan’s blog will be an opportunity to delve into the challenges and triumphs that travel with the giant sailplane.