Airbus believes without false modesty that by the end of the year they will update the world record for the height of lift into the air by a car without an engine. It belongs to Einar Enevoldzen and Steve Fossett, who in 2006 reached the mark of 15416 m on the Perlan-1 glider. The successor, the apparatus of the new model, has climbed only 9900 m so far, but this is just a "warm-up".
The Perlan-2 glider was designed for an ambitious and at the same time extremely important goal for world aviation - a flying machine without an engine must reach an altitude of 100 km. That is, go out into real space with the edge of the fuselage. Therefore, Perlan-2 was created as the most high-tech glider in the history of mankind, where there are even technologies that are designed for the rarefied atmosphere of Mars.
Pilots Jim Payne, Morgan Sandercock, Tim Gardner and Miguel Iturmend have been updating intermediate records over and over again over the past week and studying the possibilities of the glider in practice. The selected region for flights is El Calafate, Argentina, where in the south of Patagonia winds from the Andes mountain slopes collide with polar vortices from Antarctica. Here, ascending currents of incredible strength, "stratospheric waves" are generated, and only they can throw Perlan-2 to the edge of space.
The glider does not have an engine, but it maneuvers perfectly, so it can maneuver between air currents - pilots devote all their time to “explore the sky” and find the best route. They will have to master flights in the stratosphere at a new, unprecedented level, and if the project is crowned with success ... the aerospace industry is waiting for, if not a full-fledged revolution, then a qualitative leap forward.