Incredible Video of Record-Breaking High Altitude Glider Will Take Your Breath Away.
You may not have heard of the remarkable Airbus Perlan II ultra-high altitude glider and its impressive series of ultra-high altitude records for an atmospheric aircraft that happened last September in 2018. This cool video will change that, and we think you’ll be impressed.
The Airbus Perlan II is built to glide up to the edge of space at a projected maximum altitude of 90,000 feet, where there is only about 3% of sea level atmosphere for it to glide on. The unpowered Airbus Perlan II is intended to study the ozone layer and provide reconnaissance of global climate change models.
Interestingly, and unlike some ultra-high altitude balloon and powered surveillance plane projects, the Airbus Perlan 2 uses a pressurized cockpit. Early flights with pilots wearing high altitude pressure suits like U-2 pilots wear were problematic because of suit expansion in the tight cockpit.
Last September 2, the Airbus Perlan 2 bested its previous altitude record of 73,737 feet when it flew to an amazing 76,000 ft. by riding “standing mountain waves”, or powerful upward-gusting thermal pockets of rising air over the Andes mountains in Argentina. This new 76,000-foot record bested a previous 1989 record for subsonic, manned, winged flight set by a U-2 surveillance aircraft.
The original Perlan project was funded by the late Steve Fossett, who disappeared while flying over the Sierra Nevada mountains in late 2007. The project briefly died following Fossett’s tragic accident, but was revived by Morgan Sandercock, who funded the construction of the current Airbus Perlan II.
In 2010, the first privately-funded astronaut, Dennis Tito, became the pilot of the Airbus Perlan II glider as well as the principle financier funding the project. Shortly thereafter, Airbus Industries came on board as the title sponsor of the Airbus Perlan II missions.
This cool new video was shot using the Garmin VIRB Elite wireless remote action camera and telemetry recorder. A similar Garmin camera is used by the USAF F-35 Demo Team for their in-cockpit video. The Garmin VIRB Elite wireless remote action camera has a unique wide-angle lens, enabling the remarkable views you see in this video. It also records G-forces, altitude and GPS positioning data and uses special mounts for the exterior of an aircraft.