From SCAPA member Ettore Leale: The San Carlos airport community is invited to attend The Harvard Club of San Francisco’s May 1st event featuring Einar Enevoldson of The Perlan Project.

The Perlan Project is dedicated to building and flying a manned research glider to 90,000 feet in altitude, or “near space”, to study what role the strong stratospheric winds called the “polar vortex,” play in ozone depletion and how they influence global weather patterns. The Perlan Project has a three-part mission of science, engineering, and education. The scientific objective is to fly and record data in the stratospheric mountain lee waves. These wind waves play a dominating role in ozone depletion. These giant mountain waves, as they break and tumble, cause air mixing in the upper stratosphere that impact global weather patterns.

The engineering challenge is to build an aircraft that will fly in a virtual vacuum of only 3% of the sea-level atmospheric pressure; the experience in designing and flying the Perlan aircraft will be useful to scientists designing a future airplane to fly on Mars where conditions are similar. The educational opportunity is to inspire young people to seek careers in math, science, engineering and aviation through educational partnerships with schools across the country.

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, California.

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 glider, in stratospheric mountains waves generated by Polar Vortex winds over el Calafate in the Argentine Andes.

The event is open to the public, with an admission charge of $15 for non-HCSF members. Please advertise this event to airport community.

See event details at:

Note: the Harvard Club is located at 275 Battery Street, 25th Floor, in San Francisco. There is an admission charge of $15 for non-HCSF members.