SOURCE: Airbus Group, Inc.

Airbus Group, Inc.

Airbus Group, Inc.

September 17, 2015 10:14 ET

High Hopes: Airbus Perlan Mission II Glider Built to Become 'Highest-Flying Winged Aircraft Ever' to Attempt Historic First Flight

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 -- Weather Permitting

REDMOND, OR--(Marketwired - Sep 17, 2015) -

The Perlan 2 glider, the world's first engineless aircraft designed to reach the edge of space, will -- weather permitting -- attempt its first flight, a historic moment in global aviation that will open up a world of new discoveries related to aeronautics, climate change and space exploration.


  • FIRST FLIGHT of PERLAN 2 GLIDER - at approx. 11:00am EASTERN - 8:00am PACIFIC, at Robert's Field, Redmond Municipal Airport, Redmond, Oregon
  • MEDIA Q&A - following flight with Perlan 2 pilots, Perlan Project executives and Airbus Group Inc. CEO Allan McArtor, at Leading Edge Jet Center on north side of Robert's Field, Redmond Municipal Airport, Redmond, Oregon
  • MEDIA ACCESS: Media interested in viewing flight within airport perimeter must arrive at media staging area beside Leading Edge Jet Center between 6:45-7:00am PACIFIC.
  • MEDIA DIRECTIONS: From Highway 97 in Redmond turn east on SE Veterans Way. After half a mile, bear left at fork to stay on Veterans Way. After another half mile, bear right at fork onto SE Sisters Ave. (following signs for "Forest Service Air Center"). After 0.2 miles, Leading Edge Jet Center will be on right; park in the lot to the left of the building. Airport staff will take you by shuttle to the media viewing area beside the runway. Following the flight, media will be shuttled to Leading Edge hangar for reception, Media Q&A with pilots, and access to close-up shots of glider.

The Perlan 2 glider has been developed by The Perlan Project, a volunteer-run, nonprofit endeavor headed by leaders in aerospace and engineering, supported by Airbus Group and a group of other sponsors that includes Weather Extreme Ltd., United Technologies, and BRS Aerospace.

This is the first test flight for the Perlan 2 glider, which will attempt to set a new world altitude record for any airplane in 2016, and will do it without an engine. This will be the first of many flights over the coming year as the Airbus Perlan Mission II team prepares to soar the aircraft to the edge of space at 90,000 feet in Argentina. Next year's flight is expected to exceed even the altitudes achieved by the U-2 and the SR-71.

The Perlan 2 is a pressurized sailplane designed to ride air currents to the edge of space where the air density is less than 2 percent of what it is at sea level. It will carry a crew of two, plus scientific instruments that will provide new insight into climate change and our upper atmosphere. The mission will also provide lessons in how aircraft might operate in the thin atmosphere of Mars. Despite having no engine, the glider's true flight speed at 90,000 feet will be 400+ mph. The crew will breathe pure oxygen provided by a rebreather system.

In Perlan Mission I, Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson flew the Perlan 1 research glider to 50,772 feet, a new record altitude for gliders, in the mountain waves at El Calafate, Argentina, on Aug. 30, 2006. The Perlan 1 is now on permanent display at the Seattle Museum of Flight.


  • BROLL/SOT PACKAGE - will be available via FTP site -- link will be posted in PRESS KIT on Sept. 16 by 4:00pm EASTERN - 1:00pm PACIFIC; will include footage of pre-flight prep, First Flight (ground and aerial shots from follow helicopter), press conference highlights, and interview clips with pilots and Perlan Project and Airbus executives

Please follow activities and updates for Airbus Perlan Mission 2 on Twitter @PerlanProject @AirbusintheUS @AirbusGroupInc #Perlan2

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