On January 5, 2018 Aviation Week annouced their 2017 Aviation Person of the Year - Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus. Dr. Enders has been a long time supporter of the visionary Perlan Project. We are so pleased to congratulate him on this awesome accolade. Dr. Enders has visited Minden twice and was able to fly a test mission with Chief Perlan Pilot Jim Payne. It was with Dr. Enders' approval that the sponsorship creating Airbus Perlan Mission II was announced at Oshkosh in 2014.
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.
Alec Guay, the two-year Perlan intern, made cubesats in Perlan 2 his collegiate senior engineering project. He flew to California for some hands on design and fabrication. The impetus to this project was threefold. We wanted a better rack to hold the cubesats. We need more battery power in the Perlan 2 for longer flights and we wanted to move the center of gravity more aft.
On November 30, 2017 Perlan Project gave a talk co-sponsored by China Lake chapter of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the China Lake Museum. The afternoon started with a personally guided tour of the China Lake Museum by Bob Campbell. Bertha Ryan and BJ Holden are long time friends of Perlan and instrumental in setting up this event. Bertha authored the biography of Einar Enevoldson published a few years ago.
On November 29, 2017 NASA Armstrong (previously Dryden) hosted it's 50th Colloquium Series about innovative aviation. Perlan Project was honored to be selected again.
On September 15 the Perlan container departed El Calafate, Argentina and on November 6 it arrived two months and over 12,000 kilometers later in Minden, Nevada. It was a excellent trip in the hands of some great companies.
On November 4, 2017 the Pacific Soaring Council (PASCO) hosted it's 50th anniversary seminar and dinner. This was at the Sequoia Yacht Club just south of San Francisco. Perlan Project was represented by Jim and Jackie Payne as the banquet speakers.
On October 7-8, 2017 the Minden Tahoe Airport hosted an Aviation Roundup (Extravaganza) with the Air Force Thunderbirds as the headline event. In two days 31,000 aviation minded folks came through the gates! Perlan Project had our simulator available for those who wanted to see how it would feel to be at the controls of Perlan 2 thanks to Tim Gardner. And we had our mockup available for youngsters to build a dream of soaring. Thanks to Bobbi Thompson, airport manager, and Laurie Harden-Ricardi, SoaringNV, for letting Perlan in and finding a place for our equipment. (The actual Perlan 2 was still on a boat sailing north.)