It was a perfect day for a check flight and photo chase mission. Crystal blue skies, no clouds, and no winds - Argentina Patagonia at its finest. Perlan 2 leaped skyward with test pilots Jim Payne and Miguel Iturmendi behind the mighty Egrett with the Airbus photo chase helicopter tracking it all. Arne Vasenden was the tow pilot and Jamie Darcy was inside the copter behind the camera.
The strong prop wash from the tow plane was apparent. The Egrett rear-facing camera is looking through its hot exhaust and lots of vibration, so the video quality is degraded. Tow release was "nominal' (normal). The dynema tow line is red this year with better visibility.
Then Jim performed some manuevering for the chase helicopter. You can see the copter through the clear hatch just by the yaw string. They were not pressurized for first flight so there are no masks. Miguel flew the roller coaster maneuver to gather angle of attack versus G-forces data. Jim completed the test points and brought Perlan home. It was another perfect landing with the wheel just barely chirping when he greased it onto runway 07 at El Calafate. The new Sony camera in the main wheel fairing gives Jim a good view of the tow plane and should record for full flight. From this camera angle you can see there is a red mark on the belly to aid first responders if they need to open the plane. A 2 minute non-music video is included in this blog. That way you can hear the incockpit conversation between pilots. For ground photos and video see previous blog
After all high altitude sytems like rebreathers are installed and tested, Airbus Perlan Mission II will be ready for "onda grande." Join us on the Virtual Cockpit when we next fly. You can receive email, text or Twitter notifications. Perlan Soars Wave Very Soon! Jackie
For more info about the first flight ground info, ground ops, and ground photos see a previous blog https://perlanproject.org/blog/first-flight-perlan-2-argentina-2019