Airbus Backs Glider Record Bid
A project to build the world’s highest-flying glider was unveiled at EAA AirVenture on Monday, July 28 by Airbus and the Perlan Project research organization.
The sailplane will surf enormous mountain air waves to fly at more than 90,000 ft, with a mission to break all wing-borne altitude records for sustained flight by manned aircraft. It will also gather data on the atmosphere and the ozone layer. The flights are planned to take place next year, or in 2016.
The venture was launched at Oshkosh by Jean Botti, Airbus Group’s chief technical officer, and Einar Enevoldson, Perlan’s founder and a former NASA test pilot. Enevoldson, along with adventurer Steve Fossett, smashed the existing altitude record for gliders in 2006 by soaring stratospheric waves up to 50,671 ft in a standard glider.
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