On April 11, 2017 the Perlan 2 glider took to the air for a Functional Check Flight. Finally it was ready for a Return to Flight low altitude, unpressurized mission. Jim Payne and Tim Gardner launched behind Silvio Ricardi in the SoaringNV Pawnee tow plane. Jim and Tim did a very thorough preflight checklist. Stewart, Brad and Jackie assisted as ground crew. Stewart carries his own personal windsock with him at all times, as the photo illustrates.
We have made several upgrades and improvements since returning from Campaign One in Argentina. That morning Tim and Gabe tested and tweaked the elevator cable tension since the elevator had been removed for servicing. Once airborne, all stalls, and other test manuevers were easily accomplished with no surprises. Smooth take off and landing with winds right down runway 16. The new tail camera worked well. The flight was just exactly what you want for a FCF. The pilots landed with big smiles evident!