SEPTEMBER 3, 2017: The Airbus Perlan 2 Glider has set a new world altitude record for a glider today at 53,400 feet (unofficial), breaking the previous altitude record by more than 2500 feet. The crew was Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock. The aircraft design was conceived by Winward Performance and RDD Enterprises completed the design and construction of the aircraft.
The previous record, according to Wikipedia: "On August 29, 2006 Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson, the pilots of Perlan Mission I, broke the existing altitude record for gliders by soaring up to 50,671 feet (15,460m) in a standard glider using stratospheric waves of air."
"We couldn't be happier for the Perlan team. The entire project has demonstrated their commitment to advancing the science and art of flying at high altitudes using only the power of the atmosphere."
–Eric Schmidlin, RDD Enterprises
The Perlan 2 first flew two years ago out of the Redmond Roberts Field Municipal Airport. The one year construction project was lead by Eric Schmidlin of RDD Enterprises. “We couldn’t be happier for the Perlan team”, exclaimed Schmidlin. "The entire project has demonstrated their commitment to advancing the science and art of flying at high altitudes using only the power of the atmosphere. The working relationship between Perlan and RDD has been a great model of two organizations working together toward a common goal and we are excited for the new record and continued success for Perlan.”
The Aircraft: The Airbus Perlan 2 is a pressurized sailplane designed to fly at the edge of space where the air density is less than 2% of what it is at sea level. It will carry a crew of two and scientific instruments needed to explore stratospheric mountain waves. The aircraft has a gross weight of 1,800 pounds and a wing span of 84 feet. Its true flight speed at 90,000 will be 350 knots (403 mph). The cabin will be pressurized to 8.5 psi (14,500 feet). The crew will breathe pure oxygen provided by a rebreather system.
The Perlan Mission: The Perlan 2 will fly to 90,000 feet at the edge of space to explore the science of giant mountain waves that help create the ozone hole and change global climate models. This will require the engineering of a spacecraft with glider wings that can fly in less than 3% of normal air density and at temperatures of minus 70 degrees C, conditions approximating the surface of Mars. These missions will provide education and inspiration for young people seeking careers of exploration and adventure in engineering and science.
Visit the RDD Enterprise Website >
Visit the Perlan website for aircraft details >
The last week of July was a fantastic experience from AirVenture 2017. The RDD team flew the recently completed LX7, N141DP, to the biggest aviation show on earth.
The entire experience was filled with firsts for the team and for the airplane. The show was very well attended and the traffic through the display was extremely busy. It was both fun and rewarding to watch the flying public grasp the capabilities and elegance of the design first hand.
This was all capped off with a non-stop flight from Oshkosh to Redmond of just over 6 hours. The airplane did great and continued to impress us with a steady 250 knot true airspeed performance all the way home on 17 gallons of fuel per hour. View N141DP on the FlightAware website >
The most intriguing statistic was the evidence of excellent flying performance of the wing as demonstrated by the steady speed from start of cruise to start of descent. The indicated airspeed remained constant despite burning over 600 lbs of fuel. This means the wing is flying nicely in its performance profile at all weights.
Now that we are back in Redmond the activity level has not subsided a bit. Serial number 2 will get its wing next week, while serial number 3 has started into the process of the initial preparation of the fuselage. Both serial numbers have a delivery date on or before the end of October. There will be 4 more flying LX7s before the end of the year.
We are very excited about the progress that has been made in all areas of the company to make this project a reality. We welcome you to visit and see first hand what we are doing to advance experimental aviation in safety and manufacturing repeatability.
Come on by!
Thank you for your continued support and interest in RDD.
RDD Enterprises announced today that it is taking production reservations for its brand new LX7 Aircraft Conversion. The LX7 represents an exponential improvement on the Lancair IV-P in performance, safety, range and comfort.
Trade in an old Lancair IV-P for a beautiful new high-tech aircraft that is faster, safer, more comfortable -- and can go coast to coast without refueling?
For just $550,000?
Yes, it's true. RDD Enterprises announced today that it is taking production reservations for its brand new LX7 Aircraft Conversion. The LX7 represents an exponential improvement on the IV-P in performance, safety, range and comfort.
“You won’t believe what they’re doing to the Lancair IV”, wrote Robert Goyer of Plane & Pilot in December. “The LX7, which all-up is slated to cost around the same as a new Cirrus SR22 G5 or Cessna TTx, will give the airplane much of the appeal of an FAA certificated high-performance single but with greater speed than you can find in a Part 23 model.”
The LX7 blows past previous industry standards in every relevant category, with a list of features and advantages so long that the plane has its own website (http://LX7aircraft.com). Highlights include:
“The LX7 offers owners an unparalleled combination of performance, safety, luxury and value,” says Dave McRae, one of RDD’s owners. “There’s just nothing else like it out there. I’ve been flying since 1989 and this airplane is like a traveling machine dream come true. I can easily fly from our facility in Redmond to just about anywhere I want to go without refueling. And the comfort level is superior to the original IV-P due to the increased leg room and passenger space. Flying with pressurization and greater fuel capacity increase confidence and peace of mind when tackling long distance flights.”
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