The Airbus Perlan 2 Glider Sets New Altitude Record
The Airbus Perlan 2 aircraft set a new gliding altitude world record recently. The pressurized glider flew to the edge of space to an altitude of an astonishing 76,000 ft. — well over 14 miles.
The Perlan 2 glider is made of carbon fiber composite material. It is designed to soar up to 90,000 ft., has an unladen weight of 1,540 lbs., and a wingspan of 84 ft. — about twice that of a fighter jet.
The glider passed the Armstrong Line — above this limit humans absolutely cannot survive in an unpressurized environment. The atmospheric pressure is so low at this altitude that an unprotected human’s blood will boil.
Carrying two pilots, Perlan 2 was towed to the base of the stratosphere by a Grob Egrett G520 turboprop, a high-altitude reconnaissance plane.
Once the airplane towed the glider to 40,000 ft., the glider soared into the highest areas of Earth’s atmosphere thanks to the world’s most powerful stratospheric mountain waves in El Calafate, Argentina.