First Argentina Flight of Perlan 2 in 2023

Aug 3, 2023 | Argentina, Blog, El Calafate, Flights, Support Teams


This morning with 2 inches of fresh snow overnight I would not have given a chance to get a flight off. I would have been wrong. Jim asked for best efforts from the entire team and we delivered. A shakedown flight with the world’s most complex glider is far from trivial.













After all the prep work of previous days we still had a lot to do. We only got the fresh bottles of oxygen, nitrogen, helium, and liquid oxygen (LOX) yesterday. The Egrett prefers LOX, the aircraft tires are serviced with nitrogen, and Perlan needed full gaseous O2. The drogue chute needed inspection before any high flight attempts. Julio Arce’s helicopter was prepped for photo chase with Airbus Jamie Darcy making the aerial photography stills and Pedro Ferrando as videographer. All 3 aircraft pilots coordinated aerial position for takeoff, tow, release, and later Perlan’s return and landing.

Although we had previously held a dress rehearsal in benign conditions, today’s conditions were more challenging. We had a just cleared/melted ramp with brisk winds. Thank you to Aeropuerto Calafate for the snow plow and sweep. Thanks Mike Malis for clearing a path in the snow to the Egrett. Cockpits were properly loaded, but there are a lot of electronic devices to power up. Radio interference is always a concern.

























After a 2 hour flight they rendezvous’d with the helicopter for more photo opportunities. We held off landing for a medical flight and landed about 5pm local. Later in the hangar was a meeting with several Argentine organizations who would be involved with any potential search and rescue. That evening we were treated to Perlan clouds in the skies above El Calafate. We have a short squawk list to fix before flying again. Stay tuned to the blog and Perlan’s social channels.







Here’s a fun video montage of more things from first flight in Argentina in 2023 including video.

Perlan Soars! Jackie

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