In 2018 Airbus Perlan Mission II has a more ambitious plan for wave soaring in the stratosphere.
New this year we have an onsite weatherman to use his knowledge and connections to assess local conditions. We have new hatches to reduce the chance of leaks in the pressurization system. We have added a medical doctor with aviation and soaring expertise to coordinate with the local medical community. These are added to the normal "spin-up" of a high tech campaign in a remote location. The team of 20 has been working for over a week to get the glider ready. Other necessary tasks are insurances (at least 4 kinds), locking down permissions, paying for invoices, finding local hardware we did not bring, arranging car rentals with winter tires, procuring lodging for over 30 people, interfacing with the AeroClub and hangar, meeting with the aeropuerto authorities, coordinating with video crews, and writing blogs.
We finished the assembly of the wingtips after Morgan had checked the built-in flutter exciters. The air bottle was filled with extremely dry air from a compressor with special filters. The air between the dual window panes will be purged with the dry air. The oxygen, helium, and nitrogen were ordered and delivered. The bottles are stored separately in the hangar according to the fire chief's requirements. We assembled and tested the weather balloons. The re-breathers that the pilots use must be assembled and checked. The cockpit instrumentation was checked. The science equipment must be calibrated and tested. The new cameras must have heated insulation to operate in the new tail tip. The new weather station was set up and tested. The antennas for communication and telemetry must have permission to set up on airport and then tested. The video crew is filming these tasks as well as conducting interviews.
All of this highly specialized work has been done in a cold environment by enthusiastic team members donating their time and skills. For a short 45 second video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4htEYeziMs
Perlan Soars! Jackie