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.
The Perlan has flown for the first time in the X-Plane simulator. It is possible to calculate stability derivatives and control power but you get a much more immediate impression of the plane by flying it, even in a simulation. It is immediately obvious that the Perlan requires a lot of rudder to keep it straight.
After more than a year of low activity, the Perlan project has secured fresh funding and is able to start construction on the Phase 2 glider. Morgan Sandercock, a glider pilot from Australia, has agreed to fund the construction of the pressurised fuselage. Additional funds will be required in the next two years to construct the wings and transport the glider to Argentina.
In the photo above Morgan (right) and Einar shake hands on the deal.