July 31, 2017 was Tago's birthday, and all he wanted was a world record as a present. Was not to be. Jim knew that the weather would likely support weak wave and our early morning weather balloon launch indicated a weakening at 29,000 feet. But we needed the practice and the altitude check for our upgraded flutter telemetry. Cold soaking equipment also needed testing.
So we briefed with Tower personnel at 9 am, pushed out of hangar at 10 am, pressurized at 10:20, then de-pressurized and towed out at 10:40. Launch with Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock was at 10:54. Alec commented that some of the wing running felt icy. Towing behind the Boero was steady to 10,000 feet. Wave was available, but weak as expected. Nonetheless Jim and Morgan perservered to 32,500 in 1-2 knots average. Ed, Miguel, and Tim were involved in CapComm. Tim and Stewart searched the satellite photos for better conditions, but better did not exist. Loris had completely beefed up the load capacity for Virtual Cockpit. However we still hit the limiter as the glider climbed higher. Loris has more upgrades planned. We do have Twitter informational comments showing on the VC page. You are cordially welcome to come along for the ride. See http://perlanproject.cloud/VirtualCockpit.html
It is fun to blog about the efforts and accomplishments of the Airbus Perlan Mission II team. Lots of folks contribute photos to share our good times. Martin Heltai takes many photos and makes a dropbox folder each day with the related best pictures. If you use them please give Martin the photo credits. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/36ubdccwhru8dsn/AABN0DKpzN4GixTf5Qvx9lb5a?dl=0# Morgan grabbed some tail camera photos and one of him inside the cockpit for the blog. Morgan also captured some frames from the 360 Spherical camera. Enjoy the sharing the fun times.
Perlan 2 returned to El Calafate so we could prep the glider for the anticipated better wave weather tomorrow. Then it was time to celebrate Tago's birthday. That birthday candle is first cousin to a rocket motor. Back at our home away from home, Santa Monica Cabins, Eduardo and Patricia had a lovely team dinner prepared.
The flight was posted on OLC at the following link. High point was just under 10,000 meters. Tomorrow we will try again! See https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-2.0/gliding/flightinfo.html?dsId=6003846
Perlan Se Eleva! Jackie