Experimental Glider to Attempt Record-Breaking Flight Into Space
The Perlan Project hopes to ride Patagonia’s ferocious mountain winds into aviation history.
Patagonia, Argentina, is one of the windiest places on Earth. Gusts can do more than just make for bad hair days. They stretch trees sideways and can knock planes from the sky. (See: the movie Alive.)
To the pilots and scientists of the Perlan Project, an aviation expedition under way this month in El Calafate, Argentina, the harder the wind blows, the better. It’s a sign that an atmospheric condition called stratospheric mountain waves are forming in the skies above the Andes Mountains.
By the end of this month, the pilots hope to begin flights in a three-million-dollar experimental glider. The craft arrived by container ship from the United States this week. Within days, the team will attempt soaring