GLIDER WORLD RECORD!
THEIR plan is to “reach the edge of space” by getting a glider up to 90,000ft (27.432km) in the sky.
The Perlan Project team’s latest effort has reached 52,172ft (15.9km), and that’s a new world record for the highest altitude reached by a glider.
The record-breaking flight was made over Patagonia in southern Argentina. The team chose this part of the world for two main reasons: firstly, wind currents over the Andes mountain range create a type of wave effect. A bit like a surfer rides waves in the sea, the glider could ride the wind waves to their peaks, which immediately took the glider as high as 40,000ft.
Secondly, there’s a jet stream (high wind) at the South Pole that moves northwards, helping take an aircraft as high as 120,000ft.
So what’s the point of ultimately reaching 90,000ft? The team say they want to study Earth’s atmosphere and ozone layer in detail.
After the 52,172ft record was set, project boss Ed Warnock said: “We’ve made history, but the learning has just begun.”