Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone following the Perlan Project.

December has been a pretty slow month for us but work is continuing. The main development was a decision on the battery system. It turns out the main battery is going to be one really big batery. Even with the latest (and safest) lithium battery technology, it’s the heaviest component inside the plane other than the pilots. A small tank of fuel and a generator would weigh less but we don’t want to have to engineer a way of providing oxygen for such an engine.

New Instrument Tested

We have sucessfully tested one of the candidate flight instruments in wave lift conditions. The new instrument is called a Craggy Ultimate because it provides the ultimate large-screen soaring display for the pilots. It is capable of running any windows CE software and the test Ultimate has a copy of SeeYou installed.

Progress in the Workshop

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.

One in the Oven

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.

Sanding and More Sanding

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.