The absolute hottest ticket at the SSA 2018 Reno Convention was flying the Perlan Flight Simulator. We were maxed out all three days, with over 150 folks getting a real taste of flying high. There was no charge to fly, but the signup sheet showed lots of evidence of pilot name changing! I think there may have been some ticket scalping going on, but "what happens in Nevada, stays in Nevada."
On March 1-3 in Reno, NV the Soaring Society of America held the 2018 national convention. The Perlan 2 glider was the featured display at the front of the convention floor. Many of the Perlan team showed up to work the convention floor. Einar, Ed and Jim put in many hours answering questions about the glider. Tim, Morgan, Alec, and Scott were our workers at the extremely popular Perlan flight simulator (more in a separate blog as this one had too many photos! 15). Susana, Sandra, Linda and Jackie also filled in with hours of support. Stewart and Tago helped with rigging and de-rigging as well as during the convention.
The Soaring Society of America hosted their convention in Reno, Nevada from March 1-3. Perlan Project was featured on the convention floor and at the Friday night OSTIV dinner. The team gathered to celebrate the awarding of two national records from Greg Principato, the president of NAA on Friday. We all know that the entire team contributed to make that high flight possible. For Absolute Altitude 52,221 feet GPS altitude. For Altitude Gain 41,768 feet.
On September 9, 2017 Perlan 2 soared to 35,000 feet but was unable to get higher. So Jim Payne and Tim Gardner made the decision to come back to El Calafate. In the video linked below you can see the spoilers extend upward on each wing. They are called air brakes or spoilers because they spoil the lift across the wing.
You can also see lines of clouds acros the lake. These mark the various harmonics of waves downwind of the Andes Mountains. One of my favorite photos is the nose of the glider backlighted with a halo of shimmering water.
When Perlan Project was approached by Classical Tahoe to partner in a fundraiser, we said "Yes!" It is always good for a community when two non-profits can work together. As it turned out we hosted two "Evening with Perlan" events. Karen Craig and Laurie Riccardi aided by Lindsay McIntosh organized it beautifully. Jackie coordinated on the Perlan side.
To all our families, friends, and fans:
The most important upgrade for Perlan 2 in the off-season is new custom fit hatches made by Greg Scates. He created a collar of fiberglass which will be the basis for tooling for the new hatches. The old hatches were made from splashing from the test fuselage, not the flight fuselage. The original hatches clearly worked to 54,000 feet but were not perfect. Jim and Greg want perfect.
Every non-wave season we try to get some upgrades done on the Perlan 2. From December 2017-February 2018 Greg Scates has led a volunteer crew in Rosamond and achieved some spectacular changes. Mike Malis, Alec Guay, Scott Wiley and David Leingang have all spent many hours and days supporting these Rosamond-based upgrades. Morgan Sandercock dropped in one day to add his engineering help. And Jim Payne connected people, organized tasks, all round go-fer, and kept the entire team updated on progress.