Perlan,  Egrett,  and Airbus at Oshkosh

Dean Sigler Announcements, hydrogen, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Most Interesting Formation Flight at Oshkosh? Perlan 2, its Grob Egrett tow plane, and sponsor Airbus gave AirVenture 2022 attendees a glimpse of future records and promising technology.  Few people outside the Perlan Project have witnessed these two-planes flying in close formation, linked by a tow rope. Initial attempts to get Perlan to an altitude where it could catch high-level mountain waves were hampered by the relatively slow climb of the conventional high-wing craft. Because Einar Enevoldson, founder of the Project, had been a test pilot for the Grob aircraft works in Germany, he had reached a record altitude of 60,867 feet in their Stratos 2C, a twin-engine research craft powered by triple-supercharged Teledyne engines.  The Stratos is the highest …

SolarStratos Returns to Service

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

SolarStratos, a mission envisioned by Raphaël  Domjan and an airplane designed by Calin Gologan,  returns to the skies after suffering a literal break in its program in 2018. During a series of tests that put increasingly heavy loads on the wings, its left wing broke with what was called a “technical damage.”  This type of breakage during stress testing is not uncommon, especially on what are special machines such as SolarStratos and Solar Impulse.  Solar Impulse 2 suffered a similar break when its newly-designed wing was being tested.  As noted, this type of setback takes the team back to the drawing board, but also besets them with new reflections on their ongoing decisions.  If it were easy, everyone would be …