Just a couple more photos from Oshkosh.
The guys in the workshop in Bend have been making lots of progress recently. The build rate is really picking up and the excitement is building along with the parts count.
Much of the current progress is the boring stuff: project timeline plans and specifications for instruments and oxygen bottles. The exciting stuff is the molds being built and fresh parts coming off those molds. Unfortunately at this point we don’t have a lot of photos of this progress that we can share but I do have one photo below from the workshop.
As the weather turns cooler in Bend Oregon, the team in the shop is staying indoors a bit more. No more afternoons sanding Perlan parts with the hangar doors open watching the traffic on the airfield. Of course this should help get our parts made quicker.
Dennis Tito has recently visited the Windward Performance workshop in Bend, Oregon. The main fuselage molds are now complete so Dennis had an opportunity to see all the big pieces.
The rate of work is now increasing so that we expect to finish the wing molds much faster.
The production process we are using to build the Perlan is based on the normal process for mass production of gliders. (In the glider business 50 to 100 is considered to be a lot of gliders.) This is necessary for accurate control over the weight and other properties of the finished glider. Unlike a normal prototype, we can’t make allowances for inaccuracies in the building process like extra blobs of epoxy resin or dry spots in the carbon fibre.
First, an apology for not letting everyone watching the blog know about the Perlan appearance at the Oshkosh airshow. It was only organised at the last minute and the blog was offline until almost the end of the show. We did try to get the word out on Facebook and Twitter but not everybody uses those.
The Soaring Society of America has just wrapped up its convention in Litte Rock, Arkansas. The Perlan Project was represented there by the project director, Einar Enevoldson, and other Perlan team members.
This mockup cockpit has been made from the ‘production’ molds so it tested the production techniques as well as becoming a ‘plug’ for molds which will make internal parts such as the all-important pressure bulkhead. It is a fantastic visual aid to let everyone know what the finished glider will look like.