Today was delivery day at El Calafate for the Perlan Team. It was as eagerly anticipated as Christmas morning. The Cruz del Sur truck brought the container to the hangar ramp on a frosty morning. The 4 legs and chain hoists were pulled out of container and the Perlan Team started the assembly process.
We documented what had changed since leaving Minden. (That's another story!) The ramp was basically flat concrete, however the flatbed truck was not flat. It was 8 inches higher near the cab. That maxed out the front legs. We raised them with wood or metal and hoisted again. Aero Club Lago Argentino put together another fabulous Asado. At the lunch break Jim went out to inspect under the flatbed. He was able to lower the corner dogs in a cascade of dirt and grit. That made the clearance off the front of flatbed sufficient. So the truck drove away leaving the container in the air on four legs. The guys lowered in four-way olympic-caliber synchronized fashion. The weather was spring like with calm winds and in the 50'sF ideal for today. With such a challenging task the team worked together to get it done!
Next job was to back the trailer out, then unpack most of the large items. We were able to pull the fuselage out of trailer and roll into the hangar. The whole team breathed a sigh of relief to have the glider on the ground in El Calafate. Especially for Tago and I, who have worked the logistics for months, this was better than Christmas.
Perlan Se Eleva!
2016 Sept 03
Below is the link to Martin Heltai's photos of the day. Use with attribution.