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News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

Perlan ll project aims to fly a glider to the edge of space

• http://www.gizmag.com, Colin Jeffrey

In an ambitious attempt to break every wing-borne sustained flight height record for a manned aircraft, the Perlan ll project intends to construct and fly a glider higher than any sailplane has gone before. Riding on the colossal stratospheric air waves generated over mountains, the team plans to fly their craft to more than 90,000 ft (27,000 m), which will shatter their own existing glider altitude record of 50,671 ft (15,400 m) set by Perlan l in 2008.

Former NASA test pilot, and now founder and CEO of the project, Einar Enevoldson, is basing the project's anticipated flight success on evidence he has collected over many years as a high-altitude pilot on a weather phenomenon known as stratospheric mountain waves. These mountain waves are ultra-strong airstreams that collide with the tops of tall mountain ranges like the Andes and are redirected straight up, creating great waves of air that a glider could potentially use to ride up towards the edge of space.

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