It’s been more than a hundred years since the Wright brothers first took flight, so it’s only natural that the world of aeronautics has evolved. Plenty of machines exist at this very moment, and allow men and women to take to the skies — but even then, there aren’t enough for some. To that end, the Perlan 2 is swooping in to satisfy them.
Airplane manufacturer Airbus has teamed up with several other companies to produce the new glider. At eighty-four feet wide and eighteen hundred pounds, the current estimate is that the Perlan 2 can make it to an altitude of ninety thousand feet. The twist is that, unlike other aircraft, the Perlan 2 won’t need jets to go that high; by using winds that pass over a mountain range, the glider will gain speed and lift that can eventually carry it and its two pilots to such lofty heights.
That won’t happen for a while yet, unfortunately — but there has been progress. Thus far, the Perlan 2 has been able to sustain safe flight five thousand feet above Oregon, albeit after using a plane to tow it. Still, it’s an evolved version of the Perlan 1, which managed to reach fifty thousand feet unassisted and claim a world record. If the successor fulfills its promises, then the record is bound to get shattered again.