This blog describes our project Patagonia Experience 2019 – 2020 and should give you the opportunity to participate in our adventures. We wish you a lot of fun and look forward to your comments!
Rest day and time to bring the equipment up to date again
After three challenging flight days a rest day with the possibility to fill up our oxygen bottles and to bring the measuring equipment up to date was more than necessary!
After we had some gaskets turned by local mechanics and after purchasing an oil-free compressor which is unfortunately a bit too narrow, the filling of the oxygen bottles works well. Only some time and muscle power is needed for this action.
Impressions of the first flying week
In this little film we want to give you some impressions of the first flight week – just enjoy it!
2019.09.19 Wind forecast promises very good conditions over the Cordilliere
Already over two days it became apparent that a continuous wind field from the southwest reaches far north.
Klaus wanted to use this wind field to start a long-distance flight with planned 2,000 km.
Enclosed is the detailed flight report of an extraordinary flight day (up to now only in german): https://soaring-for-science.com/2019-09-19-auf-nach-norden
2019.09.17 Strong wind and an even positive wind gradient with altitude let us hope
After the wind profile predicted a strong southwest current and the Perlan team also announced a flight, we get up early to be able to submit our flight plan in time. Since Klaus wants to keep the option for the altitude record open, the flight plans have a lead time of 2 hours! The flight plans have to be filled in handwritten in the AIS and every administrator wants different details.
Shortly after the Perlan tow we also start. After a short engine running time we start with soaring at 60 km/h from 240 degrees on the almost windparallel slope of the southern hills. We have started our soaring a bit too sporty and find ourselves after a short time on low level, without any real outlanding option. A small hill west of El Calafate brings the hoped and necessary lift with the entrance into the wave.
Contrary to the weather forecast we have almost clear weather with phenomenal views. We continue northwest following a wave line. So we can fly north until close to the area around Fitz Roy. Unfortunately the Chilean border stops us, which we are not allowed to fly over!
Quickly we reached flight level 195 and Klaus gets the permission to climb further. Thomas has to stay back and use the time to take pictures and explore the waves to the south.
On my way home to El Calafate, Klaus, who stopped his climb in 9,000 m at -50 degrees Celsius, also reports that he will going to decent.
The landing with wind of 50 km/h in gusts up to 70 km/h becomes sporty and the rolling with such a strong cross wind is like taxiing drunken.
Since such clear views are rare, we will dream of this day for a long time!
2019.09.14 The day for the first cross-country flight
After the weather forecast predicts a continuous wind field to the north, we want to use the opportunity for a cross country flight!
Details under Flight Reports (up to now only in german): https://soaring-for-science.com/2019-09-14zu-schoen-um-wahr-zu-sein
2019.09.11 Weather for a new high flight record?
After the Forcast predicted high waves due to the polar jet, Klaus planned to use this day for a new high flight record!
The Perlan team also wanted to use the day to improve their previous altitude record.
Thomas and Chrisitan accompanied Klaus up to flight level 195. Only Klaus had a special permission to climb above this altitude VFR with IFR flight plan.
Details findet ihr unter Flugberichte (up to now only in german): https://soaring-for-science.com/2019-09-11-hoehenrekordversuch
2019.09.09 Day with weak south waves
The day began with a relatively strong wind from the south. But we still had some equipment to optimize and so we were busy in the morning. After Christian Holler and Marko Magister from bigair joined us, we also wanted to test our cameras.
Unfortunately we started too late, so the south wave didn’t work anymore. We made a nice sightseeing flight on a slope using one or the other convergence.
2019.09.08 First wave flight to test the instruments and explore the terrain
After the first waves had been announced, a local flight was scheduled to test the revised DLR measurement sensor and to explore the local flight area.
With weak updrafts and moderate wave structures we went northwest into higher terrain. The relatively heavy cloud cover made further climbing impossible.
The DLR team also started with their radiosonde ascents.
2019.09.07 FIRST MEASUREMENT FLIGHT ABOVE LAGO ARGENTINO
After a nice evening with some members of the Perlan-Crew, today was the perfect day for a calibration of the new instrument configuration.
The 5 hole probe from German Aerospace was installed under the right wing of the Stemme by Norman Wildmann. All electronic devices are protected in the underwingbox and the perfect sitting “wingshoe” around was built by MWP-Team member Jona Keimer.
Refueling needed some time. But finally we started on the long runway of El Calafate. The lake was like a mirror, no wind, perfect condition for some calibration pattern. Everything seems to be fine. We land in last light, happy with these first results…