dimanche 8 mai 2016

Airbus accelerates its stratospheric flight program

Airbus - Perlan Mission II logo.

May 8, 2016

The test of the Perlan 2 stratospheric glider which took place Saturday is a success. The goal is to beat the altitude record that can fly an aircraft.

Perlan 2 space glider

The test was conducted with two hours late, but it took place. Despite the rain that fell without stopping, the aircraft manufacturer Airbus has flown in Nevada (western United States) Perlan 2 space glider with on board its president, Tom Enders, who was the co-pilot. This trial was reduced to about ten minutes, as the Perlan 2, whose main goal is to beat the altitude record that can fly an aircraft, is considered more effective in dry weather, according to Jim Payne, the chief pilot this test flight, whose original term was thirty minutes to two hours.

Stable flight

"It was short (but) we could not see very well because of heavy clouds. Otherwise there would have stayed longer, "said Tom Enders smiling as he stepped off the plane. The objective of this test, which is part of a flight campaign began in March, has confirmed that a crew can survive in conditions similar to those of Mars. Airbus and the American Association  Perlan Mission 2 at the origin of this ambitious project, initially wanted Saturday to test the entire system of this aircraft without engine to be submitted during the flight at various speeds and in various scenarios altitude , stress and vibration.

  Perlan 2 space glider characteristics

They hoped in particular whether this unit was really strong and could withstand the intense conditions that could potentially destroy it. Finally, it is only the stability, speed changes and the effectiveness of the device that were tested, the aircraft having flown up to 7000 feet (2134 meters). "The device is very stable. We were able to collect the data that we want to have in this area, "said Jim Payne.

26 meters wide and 816 kilos

The Perlan  mission 2 is a space glider project developed by an association of specialists in engineering and aerospace. Airbus, which plans to build airplanes that can fly at altitudes higher than the current average, has promised up to $ 4 million making it one of the largest donors.

Perlan 2 glider sizes and envergure

With nearly 26 meters wide to 816 kilos, this glider has been designed to climb to 90,000 feet (27,400 meters) altitude, where the air density is only 2% of that level the sea. the pressurization system is supposed to maintain cabin pressure equivalent to 15,000 feet, according to Airbus, which avoids wear heavy suits. Perlan 2 account also collect information to help fight against climate change, because it should be able to go to the gates of space to study the atmosphere. The flight test was also to confirm the announced schedule to clear the record of altitude reconnaissance aircraft SR-71 Blackbird, which flew in 1976 to 25,900 meters.

Back to the golden age of space exploration?

The Perlan 2 team plans to settle in Argentina in the summer because the reliefs waves (type of air masses) are powered by the polar vortex to the stratosphere and because it wants to take advantage of the strong currents caused by the Andes. The waves used to ensure the sustenance of Perlan 2 are actually generated in the mountainous regions.

Perlan 2 flight graphic

By taking part in this project which refers to the golden age of space exploration, Airbus is trying to associate his name with the current innovations in the aerospace industry under the leadership of American billionaire Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla) and Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin, Amazon) that engage in a duel in remote launchers.

Perlan 2 "can contribute to scientific research and especially to allow to keep alive the enthusiasm for aviation in young generations. It's a little pass the witness, "suggests Tom Enders.

For more information about Perlan Mission II, visit: http://www.perlanproject.org/

Images, Info-graphics, Text, Credits: AFP / Airbus Perlan Mission II/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga,

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

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