Commonwealth National Podcast

Perlan Project: Exploring the Stratospheric Polar Night Jet by Sailplane (4/29/09)

Einar Enevoldson, Team Leader, Perlan Project; Aeronautical Engineer; Experimental Test Pilot

Discover how adventurers and scientists are attempting to harness one of the most incredible forces of nature known to man. A band of winds, sometimes exceeding 300 miles per hour, circles the Earth at high latitudes at altitudes around 100,000 feet. Existing only in the polar winter, it’s called the Polar Night Jet. The Perlan Project is an ongoing effort to soar unpowered up into the middle of this wind, into a region of the atmosphere not yet explored by aircraft. Enevoldson, former experimental test pilot at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, will discuss his recent notable flights with the late Steve Fossett, and the current plans, progress and future of the Perlan Project.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 29, 2009.

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