On 9-16 the helicopter from Ushuaia arrived. The R-44 copter has less than 10 hours on it. We took advantage of a calm, cool evening for a photo shoot. The clarity of the light is magnificient and sunset gives that warm glow along the leading edge of the wing.
On September 15-16 representatives from Comodoro and Buenos Aires ENAC and ANAC came to El Calafate to see the Perlan 2. Empressa Argentina Navegacion Aerea (similar to ATC) is a brand new agency in Argentina which started August 1.
On September 14 and 16 Perlan Project hosted several classes of local high school age students from El Calafate. Previously Perlan Project had gone to the classrooms. Now they came to the hangar. This was organized by Liz Kennick, president of Teachers in Space. She was assisted by Miguel Iturmendi, bilingual Perlan test pilot, and Alec Guay, college Intern responsible for CubeSat logistics.
The wind strength and direction are of utmost importance on any wave mission. On Tuesday the 13th (Argentine equivalent to American Friday 13th) we decided to practice a wave mission, first celebrating Doug and Hector's joint birthdays. But, we really needed a practice day with a long tow and full telemetry testing.
After the first short flight in Argentina there were some tweaks and improvements made. So on September 11, 2016 Perlan 2 took to the skies of Patagonia for the second time. Jim and Tim Gardner piloted this one, with Morgan as Cap Com and Miguel on radios.
On September 9, 2016 we flew the first Airbus Perlan 2 flight from El Calafate, Argentina. It would be a short Functional Check Flight (FCF) for the aircraft which had traveled over 14,000 kilometers by truck, boat, and truck to reach its southern Andes home. That's over 1/4 the distance around the world.
The level of complexity for an expedition such as Perlan Project in Argentina is mind boggling. The Laviasa tow plane flown by Cholo Miranda arrived at sunset to enthusiastic team applause. It is a prototype 2 seat Pawnee (Pulche) with a bubble canopy. Sweet!
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.