In the off-season Airbus Perlan Mission II is making more upgrades to the Perlan 2 pressurized glider. Team member Greg Scates has been invaluable in creeating solutions for these upgrades. Previously he came to Minden to the cold hangar to make and cure carbon fiber parts. This year we decided to take the Perlan 2 to Greg's warm hangar in sunny Rosamond. (Greg and Paynes are across the taxiway neighbors at Rosamond Skypark.) Since Greg knew that he would be working upside down on the inside of the cabin, he decided to invert the glider instead.
First he and Tanner Yarberg (Skypark resident with his own machine shop business.) designed and built a steel frame to safely hold the glider upside down. Then the frame was tested by holding Greg's truck up by the hitch. All good, so far.
Next the glider had to be positioned catty-corner in his hangar. (The Payne hangar will hold the assembled 85 foot wingspan glider BUT ours isn't heated. So ours was used as storage for Greg's airplanes.) Moving the sailplane sideways required double floor jacks to position under a winch cable for the aft fuselage just in front of the tall tail. (There was a solid white covering on the left eyeball window which is why it does not show well in the photos.) Finally the fuselage was ready for (another Skypark neighbor) Eric Lewis's forklift under the fuselage dolly. Due to the pressurization design the fuselage is completely round. We put slippery cloth between the fuselage of sailplane and the dolly, then slowly rotated so tail was parallel to floor. Raising the tail with the winch and simultaneously raising the cockpit with the forklift allowed us to slowly continue the rotation. The tall tail had to have enough room to roll upside down. Finally the cockpit was completely inverted. Now Greg could comfortably sit on a shop stool in shirt sleeves, slide under/inside the cockpit, and work on the "ceiling" hatch area. More Perlan/Skypark unconventional solutions to problems!!! Perlan Soars High! Jackie