On April 8, 2016 Flight Test Pilot and Engineer Miguel Iturmendi presented to the regional meeting of SETP in Florida. His description of the Perlan 2 glider, and the Perlan Project was of high interest to over 100 other Test Pilots. Turns out that several of the currently active Air Force TPs were students of Jim Payne at the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB.
On March 21, 2016 the Airbus Perlan 2 pressurized sailplane made its first climbing wave flight. The all-volunteer Perlan Team has accomplished this critical milestone after an amazing amount of effort from the core team.
The Perlan Project is very close to completely self-contained pressurized wave flight. We have test flown the sealed hatches using Mountain High EDS cannulas, but the last critical milestone was installing the (Darth Vader) rebreathers.
We have been extremely busy in Minden with getting the Perlan ready for pressurized flight. That finally happened! And Dr. Tom Enders (the top boss of Airbus) with other senior Airbus management team from Europe and USA came to fly on March 4, 2016.
On February 28, 2016 The Airbus Perlan 2 glider took to the skies while pressurized. This was a historic day for Perlan Project and one of final critical milestones prior to beginning altitude wave soaring in this unique aircraft.
Perlan Project was well represented at the Soaring Society of America's convention in Greenville, SC. The SSA is an early sponsor of Perlan's flight computers. Dennis Tito, a major Perlan sponsor had his new jet Arcus on display. Bob Carlton and Mark Mocho have done a fabulous job installing the powerful self launching one of a kind jet into a Schemp-Hirth Arcus sailplane. Dennis received his SSA gold medal for Out and Return. Jim Payne got a SSA gold medal for triangle distance.
On February 13, 2016 we installed neon orange tufts of yarn on the right wing. It was time for some confirmation of airflow patterns over the wings. The wide angle Sony video camera would document air flow and characteristics approaching stall. Jim and Miguel Iturmendi launched into calm winds behind Silvio Ricardi in SoaringNV's trusty Pawnee tow plane. This time we have posted some awesome in-flight photos. Everything performed as expected.
BoneHead Composites is sponsoring the flight crew of Perlan 2. They have sent 10 helmets from size Small to XXLarge for the comfort and safety on all Perlan 2 missions. Jim Payne has worn a BH helmet on all short test flights of the Perlan 2. He has also worn a BoneHead helmet for over 7 hours in a different glider. He says it is extremely comfortable with clear voice reception.