On Saturday August 11 the Egrett finally arrived in El Calafate to provide powerful tows for Airbus Perlan Mission II. For months Mike Malis has worked on acquiring, refurbishing, and installing a tow hook on the Egrett and getting it signed off.
Then at the end of May, three Perlan pilots and Mike converged in Texas to test the towing capabilities of the Egrett. (See blog http://perlanproject.org/blog/first-ever-tow-egrett ). It took an incredible amount of logistical coordination to fly the Egrett to El Calafate. Only through the perserverence of all concerned was it even possible.
Everyone was delighted to hear the "inbound" call on the radio, and the clearance to land that afternoon. Arne landed just before a commercial Aerolineas flight took off. He taxied to the AeroClub Lago Argentino ramp where precise Egrett-sized tie downs awaited him. Thanks Tim and Tago for getting those tie-downs installed. The Egrett is a huge plane with a wing span of over 100 foot and a 750 hp engine. The open class Perlan 2 is "only" 84 feet. The Egrett wings are over 8 feet tall at the root. Next blog: First amazing tow of the Perlan 2 by the Egrett.
Stay tuned for our journey into the stratosphere. Go to the home page of the Perlan Project website to sign up for our email notification list. In the US sign up for a text message notification list. Or follow us on Twitter when we have live reports while soaring into the stratosphere. Want a heads up on the next flight? Sign up by email at PerlanProject.org/contact or if in the U.S. text “Perlan” to 57682. Perlan Soars! Jackie