Perlan’s blog collects the thoughts and experiences of team members from the multiple disciplines needed to build and prepare the aircraft, plan the flight, and carry out the mission. Here, you’ll find insights from the designers, craftspeople, pilots, meteorologists, and support personnel who will make Perlan’s record ascents a reality. Perlan’s blog will be an opportunity to delve into the challenges and triumphs that travel with the giant sailplane.

Oshkosh 2010 Interim Report

First, an apology for not letting everyone watching the blog know about the Perlan appearance at the Oshkosh airshow. It was only organised at the last minute and the blog was offline until almost the end of the show. We did try to get the word out on Facebook and Twitter but not everybody uses those.

Presentation at Omarama, New Zealand

Morgan recently visited Omarama, New Zealand, to fly in the unique conditions and learn from some of the world’s top experts on wave flying. Omarama has a special connection to the Perlan Project as the team was based there for several seasons early in the project.

While he was there, Morgan was asked to make a presentation to the pilots to let them know where the Perlan is up to. The presentation was well-recieved, with many questions asked at the end.

Lenticulars over Nevada

Our project meteorologist Elizabeth Austin took this picture of lenticular clouds over her house in Nevada yesterday.

Lenticulars are important to glider pilots because they only occur when there is wave activity. Sometimes the wave might be too weak to support a glider or there is no lift underneath the wave that would enable us to climb up into it but these deeply-stacked lennies in the photo indicate lots of strong wave.

First Flying Surfaces Underway

The mold-building process has begun on the horizontal tailplane.

This is the first of the “flying” aerodynamic parts to be started. It is proceeding in exactly the same way as the fuselage. First we cut a foam block with the CNC machine, then sand and paint it to make a plug. The mold is laid up on the plug, using high-temperature carbon fibre and resin. The actual parts will be laid up in the mold with lightweight pre-preg carbon fibre cloth.