On July 16 we were hopeful to get the first wave flight accomplished. Unfortunately the cross winds were gusting 47 knots 40 degrees off the runway heading. We look at forecasts for low, mid level and high altitude wave. Mid level was very soft. Last year we found it impossible to climb through mid level with no lift even though you could see lennies above the glider. So instead of flying, we made it a productive hangar day. Horacio from La Nacion newspaper was at hangar before 8. He got lots of photos including group shots. Martin did as well.
On July 14, 2017 the Airbus Perlan Mission II team was finally ready to take to the skies of El Calafate, Argentina. The pressurized 2 seat glider was purpose built to fly high in mountain and stratospheric waves.
On July 14, 2017 the Perlan Weather Balloon crew got up very early. They took breakfast with them to the hangar. Sandra, Elizabeth, Loris, Stewart and Martin got the helium into balloon and were ready to launch.
July 14, 2017 Everyone on the Perlan Team put max effort into today. Tim and Alec prepared the rebreathers and performed the systems checks. Stewart and Morgan put together telemetry antenna and early set-up. Stewart and Jim trouble shot the tow plane radio.
July 12, 2017 While our friends in Minden are cooking with temperatures near 100 F, we are wearing snow boots and fur hats inside the hangar in El Calafate. Today started -3 C and finally warmed to 5 C. That's a relative heat wave as the high will only be 2 or 3 C for the next two days.
July 11, 2017- A lot was accomplished today! The 12 people from Perlan all worked another full day. Elizabeth, Loris, Alec and Sandra made great progress on getting the weather balloon software to read the GPS data. Our checklists were updated with new procedures. We had another productive meeting about operational procedures with EANA tower folks.
July 10, 2017- There's a lot of preparation work that is crtical for Airbus Perlan Mission II success. A new oil pre-heater was installed on the Boreo tow plane. We knew from Minden that one of the accelerometers had stopped sending data. So Morgan and Stewart found the broken wire problem and repaired. There was a meeting with local officials about launching weather balloons.
July 9, 2017 was Unloading Day for Perlan and Independence Day for Argentina. The truck arrived last night and the crane arrived this morning. The Perlan team was in place to download and unload the container. First we needed to sweep and clean the hangar. The hangar aircraft needed to be shuffled to create room for an 85 foot wing span.