The Windward Performance worskhop in Bend, Oregon is currently working on the fuselage that will be used for destructive testing. This is the one that has to have all of the structural details of the final aeroplane but it will be over-pressurised until is bursts. Adding those structural details is taking longer than we thought; it’s not just a simple test. We have to have the whole thing finished and nearly ready to fly before we destroy it.
Argentina seems to have a lot of speed bumps. They have all kinds. Big ones, sharp ones, little ones, bolt-ons and more. Each time we have driven over one, Tago has said that Esquel has the worst speed bump. The “Stevebump.”“Oh no, that’s not a big bump. You should see this one in Esquel. It nearly killed Steve.”
We are gathering lots of information for future Perlan expeditions. We have taken a few side trips to inspect different airfields that we might use in the future.
El Maiten (Photo #2) looks like it might be a useful place to outland. The runway surface is very soft, so we couldn’t launch the Perlan 2 glider from here.
The Perlan Project 2011 expedition to Argentina has already had some great results in the Andes Wave. On a non-wave day, we have some time to shoot a few videos. Check out this video of the DG1001m self-launcher. Watch the video on YouTube here.
Coming from Australia and having flown in the United States, I am used to seeing “big” skies. The kinds of places where multi-terawatts of energy are going up into the clouds and just begging for a glider to siphon off a few kilowatts. [I will always remember seeing the ground just fall away from me in Australia once.]
This past week, I am spending time with Tago. Tago was employed by Steve Fossett almost from the first record attempt. He originally got invloved with the balloon circumnavigation because Tago’s home town (Mendoza) was selected by Steve as the perfect launch point for a round-the-world attempt. [This one was the one where Steve ended up in the ocean near Australia.]
The Perlan Project has held its major team meeting for the year, in the Bend, Oregon workshop where the new glider is under construction. The team members got together to see the progress in the workshop and make some important decisions for the next steps.
The most important decision in this meeting was Dennis will ship his glider down to Argentina for the November-December flying season so that we can get some experience flying safely and legally in Argentina. Dennis owns a DG1001M glider, which is the perfect glider for this kind of flying.
Yesterday at Windward Performance a TV crew came out to prepare a piece on the Perlan Project.