After the first short flight in Argentina there were some tweaks and improvements made. So on September 11, 2016 Perlan 2 took to the skies of Patagonia for the second time. Jim and Tim Gardner piloted this one, with Morgan as Cap Com and Miguel on radios.
Pressurization has gone well after our experience from the early Minden flights. One person stands outside each hatch to ensure the alignment is perfect, then the “scuba air bottle” pressurizes from the inside. Alec Guay was ground crew for hook up and wing running, after shadowing Tim and training with Jim. Perlan 2 was again sandwiched between 2 commercial flights in a 90 minute window. For these short test flights that works well. We put a camera on the Laviasa Puelche (Pawnee) tow plane.
The test plan called for activating the flutter excitation and downloading data from the air. This was a practice run for planned real time flutter data analysis by the San Diego company ATA. We beta tested the virtual cockpit with excellent results. The flutter data download interfered with our Life Support Systems Display telemetry, so that will be tweaked soon. Mauricio Perez and Lipton Block from the Chos Malal mountain wave camp group CNVVM had come to support these initial flights. Sandra Bagzan from Air Force in Buenos Aires has also been in El Calafate to offer all kinds of help. And we finally got the four Perlan Campaign One pilots together near the Airbus Perlan 2. Perlan Se Eleva! Jackie
Below is the link to Martin Heltai’s photos of the day. Use with attribution.