Perlan II makes first record attempt of season over Andes
The Airbus Perlan Mission II is off the ground and flying at 42,000 feet above the Andes in South America.
Based in Minden, the aircraft is making its first wave flight and is going for the record this morning.
The flight launched around 11:15 a.m. Eastern time and may be watched live at http://www.perlanproject.cloud/VirtualCockpit.html
Organizers say any flight this season could see a new aviation world record could set for highest altitude for a winged, manned aircraft in sustained flight.
The glider’s true flight speed at its maximum altitude of 90,000 feet will be almost 400 mph.
A passive pressurization system protects the crew in an environment where the air density is less than 2 percent of what it is at sea level.
The Perlan II glider began its two-month shipping voyage to Argentina in June, and by the end of July the Airbus Perlan Mission II team relocated its operations to the Patagonian town of El Calafate.
Atmospheric conditions in this region allow the team to soar into the stratosphere on rising air currents, yielding new discoveries in aviation engineering, extreme weather and space exploration.