The Perlan 2 during its first test flight above Oregon in September 2015. Next year this aircraft will be flown from Argentina to attempt a new altitude record.
El Calafate in Patagonia, Argentina provided an ideal location for the glider to ride stratospheric mountain waves coming off the Andes.
The Airbus Group’s Perlan II recently reached 32,500ft (9,906m) in altitude during a second series of test flights in El Calafate, Argentina. The plan is to fly this aircraft to the edge of space to collect data on the climate and high-altitude flight, and in doing so break the current world gliding altitude record of 50,727ft (15,461 m).
The Airbus Perlan 2 during its September 2, 2018 flight when it flew above 75,000ft, setting a new all-time altitude record for an engineless aircraft.
The Perlan II weighs about the same as a 1967 VW Beetle and has an 84ft (25.6m) wingspan.
Perlan II has high aspect ratio wings to maximise gliding efficiency.
The Perlan II glider holds the world altitude record for a glider, having climbed to 76,124ft (23,203m) in September 2018.
A panoramic view from a tail-mounted camera as Perlan II conducts its flight record-breaker.
Pilots Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock, euphoric after landing on one of Perlan II's record-breakers.