The first fuselage plug has been completely machined. Einar has come up to Bend to view the progress.
The next step is to sand the plug by hand to remove the tool grooves and then it can be sealed with paint and the molding process begins.
We may have found the perfect screen display to use in the Perlan glider. The Craggy Aero “Ultimate” computer is an exciting new development in soaring instruments.
The main advantage of this computer is the large sunlight-readable screen. We tested it outdoors in full sunshine against a conventional PDA. The Ultimate is the clear winner for readability, even though the PDA had a new “transreflective” screen.
The first pieces of the actual, final shape of the glider are comming off the CNC machine now. These pieces will be assembled together to make a “plug” which is used to make the carbon fibre mold, which is used to make the real fuselage.
For three separate reasons, the three Perlan Project principals are all going to be at the Red Bull Air Race in San Diego next weekend. See the Red Bull Air Race web site for information about the race.
The fuselage has been lofted (again.) I think the term originates from boatbuilding, where the pattern for a new boat was first created in the sailmaker’s loft. “Lofting” has a special meaning to an engineer because it is the process whereby lines on a plan are transformed into curves in three dimensions.
While the Perlan Project has been hard at work during March, there isn’t much visible progress we can share on the blog. However, one item of research was reading Exploring the Monster by Robert F. Whelan.
Exploring the Monster, Mountain Lee Waves: the Aerial Elevator tells the story of wave soaring from its initial discovery in Germany in 1933 to the Sierra Project of 1951-52 and the Jet Stream Project of 1955. Amazingly, some of the people who flew those earliest wave flights are still alive and living in California.