The Soaring Society of America is holding its annual convention in Little Rock, Arkansas on January 28-30 this year. The Perlan Project will be there with a new mockup of the forward fuselage. If you want to see if you fit in the cockpit, then this is a good chance to try it for yourself.
Our project meteorologist Elizabeth Austin took this picture of lenticular clouds over her house in Nevada yesterday.
Lenticulars are important to glider pilots because they only occur when there is wave activity. Sometimes the wave might be too weak to support a glider or there is no lift underneath the wave that would enable us to climb up into it but these deeply-stacked lennies in the photo indicate lots of strong wave.
The mold-building process has begun on the horizontal tailplane.
This is the first of the “flying” aerodynamic parts to be started. It is proceeding in exactly the same way as the fuselage. First we cut a foam block with the CNC machine, then sand and paint it to make a plug. The mold is laid up on the plug, using high-temperature carbon fibre and resin. The actual parts will be laid up in the mold with lightweight pre-preg carbon fibre cloth.
The first high-temperature carbon fibre mold has been seperated from its plug. It has turned out perfectly with no defects.
Today we completed three big milestones towards constructing the airplane.
- One fuselage forward-half mold has been infused with epoxy resin
- The hatch test box has passed its pressure+cold test
- We pressurised a test double-paned window to destruction just to see what it takes to blow up one of these windows.
It will take me some time to download and edit the video of these events, so I will put more details in future blog postings. Here are a couple of pictures of today’s events.
The second test box has now been completed. This box is intended to test the hatch with pressure and cold.
The rebreather system development is continuing. We have sucessfully tested some more refinements to the design. Jeff Bozanic has been invaluable, contributing expertise and identifying some diving hardware which will be useful to us.
James Murray, Jeff Bozanic and Morgan Sandercock discuss the rebreather components.
The fuselage plugs have been painted in their final coat of paint. There is still a lot more sanding and surface preparation before we can start construction of the mold.