Founder and Chairman of the Board
Einar is a lifelong glider pilot, former jet fighter pilot in the USAF, and exchange officer with the Royal Air Force where he attended the Empire Test Pilot’s School in Farnborough, England. Following graduation, he served as a test pilot on the Hunter, Lightning and Javelin British fighter aircraft from 1966 to 1967. From 1968 until 1986 Einar was a NASA research pilot at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. Among the many planes he flew for NASA were the YF-12A (Interceptor version of the SR-71), the oblique wing AD-1, Controlled Deep Stall Sailplane and the X-24B Lifting Body. He was twice awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. In 1992 Einar first envisioned the Perlan Project when a LIDAR image of a stratospheric mountain wave, at 75,000 feet above Northern Scandinavia was first shown in Germany. Einar believed that such mountain waves could be used to fly a sailplane to astonishing heights. Einar and Steve Fossett proved this concept when they set a world record altitude for gliders of 50,671 feet on August 30, 2006 in the Perlan I, a modified DG505M, in stratospheric mountains waves generated by the Polar Vortex over el Calafate, Argentina.