Airbus Perlan begins journey to 2016 world record flight

The Perlan 2 glider has achieved its successful first flight in a historic moment about 5,000 feet above Robert´s Field, the Redmond Municipal Airport in Oregon.

This was the first test flight of the aircraft, which next year will attempt to set a new world altitude record for any airplane. The goal of this project is to open up a world of new discoveries related to high-altitude flight, climate change and space exploration.

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

Despite having no engine, the glider´s true flight speed at that altitude will be more than 400 mph and the air density will be less than two percent of what it is at sea level. The crew will breathe pure oxygen provided by a rebreather system, similar to what astronauts use in space.

Airbus Group, Inc. is the US-based operation of Airbus Group, a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. Airbus Group contributes more than USD16.5 billion to the US economy annually and supports over 250,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers.