On January 6, 2018 Perlan Project hosted title sponsor Airbus for the quarterly review meeting. Since the Perlan 2 glider was in Rosamond for upgrades requiring carbon fiber parts, we held the meeting at nearby Hilton Garden Inn in Palmdale, CA. After the meeting we reconvened in Greg Scates' hangar for some "inverted show and tell."
CEO Ed Warnock welcomed Ken McKenzie SVP Strategy for Airbus and Tim Gann also from Airbus as our guests. We had a lot of topics to discuss including: Science, Technology, Students and CubeSats, Upgrades in Progress, a stronger tow plane and Future Funding. The core team led by Stephane Fymat has created three possible budgets. Budget A takes us to El Calafate in 2018, then we will need additional funding to continue. Budget B has plans for additional funding and allows an additional year (possibly two) of Argentina campaign in 2019. Budget C takes into account extensive additional funding and Argentina campaigns in '18,'19, and '20.
We recessed at 3 pm and reconvened in Scates' hangar in Rosamond. The Perlan 2 is again inverted in order to make working on the interior ceiling of the sailplne much easier. (See previous blog.) Einar had several suggestions of things to consider for upgrades. What a wealth of experience! Then I just had to get the photo of everyone "lifting" the fuselage into the air.
That evening there was a Perlan presentation to Antelope Valley Soaring Club. Interestingly, the well known aviation artist Mike Machat was also there. Mike created the picture of NASA director Paul Bikle's 1-23 when he set a soaring altitude record of 46,267 feet. On this night, Bob Harris (49,009') signed, and Morgan and Jim (54,000' pressure altitude) signed the 1-23 print. I intend to take it to Einar (50,722') to complete my signatures. Who knows what 2018 will bring? Perlan Soars High! Jackie