In September The Airbus Perlan 2 glider achieved a new altitude record of 76,000ft in September. According to the article,”Surfing the mountain wave”, BILL READ, FRAeS reports on the on-going project which not only intends to fly higher than any other manned winged aircraft but also to learn new insights in the Earth’s atmosphere, the ozone layer and global warming.
Why do they call it “Surfing the Mountain Wave?”
The article dives into one of the main premises of The Perlan Project: a well-known weather phenomenon used by glider pilots to keep aloft is to surf on ‘mountain waves’. In the same way as a river forms waves when it flows over a rock, strong winds crossing a mountain range will make standing waves in the air. Such waves need particular conditions to be created – if the winds are blowing more than 15kt sideways over the mountain and the atmosphere is stable, then waves will form on the lee side of the mountains.
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