Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016

Airbus glider set to fly to the edge of space in record breaking 90,000ft test (2)

(Mail Online)    14:29, February 03, 2016

The Perlan II glider is the world's first engineless aircraft designed to reach altitudes of 90,000ft (27,430 metres) by riding so-called 'stratospheric mountain waves'. Earlier this week, the glider made history by soaring to 5,000ft (1,525 metres) during its maiden flight over Roberts Field, the Redmond Municipal Airport in Oregon (pictured)

The Perlan II (pictured) is a pressurised sailplane designed to ride air currents that, in certain mountainous regions near the north and south poles, can reach the stratosphere. Despite having no engine, the glider's true flight speed at that altitude will be more than 400mph and the air density will be less than two per cent of what it is at sea level. The crew will breathe pure oxygen, similar to what astronauts use

Winds in the Polar Vortex can reach speeds of 260 knots and upwards allowing the mountain waves to propagate upwards into the stratosphere.

The Perlan Project was formed to explore these waves and soar them to the edge of space.

In August 2006, Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson soared the Perlan 1 glider to 50,722ft (15,460 metres) using these 'stratospheric mountain waves.'

'Airbus Perlan Mission II is an historic endeavour in the truest spirit of aviation's earliest pioneers,' said Tom Enders, chief executive officer of Airbus Group which sponsors the project.

'The knowledge gained from this project will impact how the world understands and addresses climate change. But it will also help Airbus continue to innovate ways to fly higher, faster and cleaner, on Earth and possibly beyond.'

This week's maiden flight was piloted by Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock.

The next step is to take the glider to various altitudes over a series of tests before the pair attempt to reach the edge of space in Argentina in 2016.

These flights are expected to exceed even the altitudes achieved by the U-2 and the SR-71.

The craft took the the skies for the first time last year.

The flight, which took place over Roberts Field, the Redmond Municipal Airport in Oregon, was the first test flight of the craft which next year will attempt to set a new world altitude record for any airplane. 


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(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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