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Dr. Elizabeth Austin, CCM, founder and President of WeatherExtreme Ltd., is currently serving as the Chief Meteorologist for the Perlan Project. The Perlan Project is an international scientific endeavor to fly a manned glider (no engine) to 100,000 feet above the earth.

The Perlan Project has already proved its concept when pilots Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson set the world altitude record of 50,671 feet in a highly modified production glider. The new Perlan Glider (Perlan 2) was being built from scratch and is an experimental, pressurized, carbon fiber glider. This glider has the capability to reach 90,000 feet. Stage 3 of the project will attempt to get to 100,000 feet. The Perlan Project is one of aviation’s most ambitious and most dangerous forays into the upper atmosphere and will provide some much needed scientific data regarding the stratosphere, the Polar Vortex and the Ozone hole.I n July of 2014 Airbus Group became the partner and title sponsor of Airbus Perlan Mission II.

In August and September of 2018, the Perlan 2 glider and its pilots set three world records, each consecutive one breaking their previous one. This purpose-built pressurized high-altitude Perlan 2 glider soars higher than any other manned, subsonic wing borne aircraft has ever flown in sustained flight using stratospheric mountain waves and the polar vortex and in so doing harvest invaluable data about earth’s atmosphere and its ozone layer. The project set a new world altitude record of a little over 76,000 feet pressure altitude, the world’s highest piloted subsonic sustained flight.
Scientific research and education are two main objectives of the Perlan Project. Dr. Elizabeth Austin is the chief scientist/meteorologist for the ground-breaking and record breaking Perlan Project.

Current Team – Airbus Perlan Mission II Team
Current Missions – Airbus Perlan Mission II
Current Aircraft – Perlan 2

Phase 1 (completed)
Certified production DG505M using full pressure suits in an unpressurized cabin. The maximum altitude possible with this configuration was calculated as 62,000 feet.
Omarama, New Zealand and El Calafate, Argentina
On August 30th, 2006, pilots Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson set the world-record altitude for gliders of 50,671 feet (15,447 m). Measurements taken during the flight proved that they had reached the stratosphere. This has provided the team with valuable information that will be used in Phase 2.



Airbus Perlan Mission 2 (in progress)
To soar to 90,000 feet using stratospheric mountain waves and the Polar Night Jet.
A special pressurized high altitude sailplane, Perlan 2.
El Calafate, Argentina
Set a new world record of a little over 76,000 feet pressure altitude on September 2, 2018

Phase 3
To soar to 100,000 feet and carry out long international flights using the Polar Night Jet/Polar Vortex.

For more information on The Perlan Project please visit:

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