It isn’t a proper Christmas if you don’t get to put on a funny hat… Merry Christmas from the Perlan Project!
Yes, there really are snow-capped mountains behind the hill. You can almost guess at where they are in the photo.
After last year’s disastrous season at Bariloche being completely ruined by the Chilean volcano, we were told that this season was perfectly clear. Imagine our surprise at seeing this view on our way into Bariloche. A year of planning and hoping was washed out in an instant.
The pre-Perlan 2012 expedition has begun. We left a glider in El Calafate at the end of last season, so we need to go there to pick it up. This is getting to the middle of summer and everyone is wearing winter jackets. It’s cold and windy all the time.
“It was really windy this morning before you arrived. Now the wind has calmed down.” We also found some of the Perlan 1 equipment that was left here in 2006. There was a system of tripods used to get the shipping container off the truck without a crane.
Some members of the Perlan team will be visiting Argentina again this year. The team will be the same as last year.
We expect to be flying from Bariloche and Chos Malal during November and December.
Left to Right in the photo: Jackie Payne, Dennis Tito, Morgan Sandercock, Marcelo Yanguez (Esquel Air Traffic Controller), Tago dePietro, Jim Payne
On October 8th, the Online Competition (OLC) season finished for 2011-12 with Jim Payne declared the winner for the year. This is a worldwide competition with more than a hundred thousand flights by thousands of glider pilots. At the top level, it gets very competitive.
View the OLC Champion 2012 Results here.
The Windward Performance workshop has completed fabrication on all of the major carbon components of the Perlan 2 glider. All these parts are now sitting in the assembly jigs or stored on shelves, awaiting assembly. This is a good opportunity to have a look around the workshop, camera in hand, and get a few photos of the parts laid out. We can also see some of the other aircraft under construction at the same time.
The main spars have completed their three cycles in the oven and are now ready for further processing:
The main wing spars are being built in the workshop right now. This is a long process because of the hundreds of layers of carbon required. The “uni” or unidirectional carbon fibres are prepared in stacks of 5 layers before being interleaved with conventional carbon cloth that has fibres running in two directions. Then we alternate those directions to zero and forty-five degree alternates.