The daring plan to reach an altitude of 27, 000 meters beyond conventional aircraft will be carried out next month on Airbus's Perplan-2 glider. Let's pay tribute to the creators of a unique glider: only special devices, like the strategic reconnaissance SR-71, fly at this height, and even then with the help of powerful jet engines.
The glider weighs less than a ton, the wingspan is 5.5 meters. The pressurized cockpit ensures the normal work of the crew without a special high-altitude suit. Since the glider does not have an engine, pilots have to use upward air currents to climb. In its last test flight, the aircraft took off from the runway at Minden, Nevada, piloted by pilots Jim Payne and Tom Enders.
During the test flight last Sunday, Perplan-2 showed enviable strength, stability, efficiency at a good speed. The results obtained will help in the creation of new economical models capable of flying at altitudes from 10 to 12 thousand meters.
Over time, Perplan-2 is expected to be used to collect data on the atmosphere and climate change by sampling air from the stratosphere.