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Soaring into History

The Airbus Perlan Mission II

© by Perlan Project / Airbus / YouTube

Source | Perlan Project / Airbus / YouTube | 06 February 2024 1 minute
The engineless Perlan 2 glider reached 52,172 feet on Sept. 3, 2017, thus breaking the glider altitude record set by Perlan 1 in 2006. All aircraft are a bundle of compromises as some designs fly well at low altitudes, yet are unable to perform at high altitudes. Some are highly suitable for high altitude but fly poorly at low altitudes. Some can carry heavy loads, others carry little more than a pilot. The Perlan 2 is an airplane designed to fly most efficiently at 50,000 feet but only acceptably at sea level and at 90,000 feet. It has 84 foot-long wings, can carry two pilots, scientific instruments, life support and two safety parachutes. Its weight corresponds to that of a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. Perlan Mission II is a purpose-built glider aiming to soar on wind currents to 27.4 kilometers – the stratosphere – as it researches high-altitude flight. Airbus, partner of Perlan Project, is seeking to push the boundaries of aerospace and discover more about climate change. For more please check out