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Anniversaries and Aerial Celebrations

The results of the studies flown by instrumented sailplanes and intrepid soaring pilots has led to great increases in flight safety for all air travelers.

Weather forecasting can now anticipate the creation of these atmospheric waves, and brief pilots to avoid those areas of turbulence and danger.

Sailplane pilots still use this wave system for recreational flying from many airports in the lee of the Sierras. California City, Inyokern, Bishop and Douglas County Airport, Nevada, all launch gliders for some local wave flying. But no one has since been able to achieve the highest levels of the tropopause.

Bob Harris's flight in 1986 used then state of the art dual oxygen systems, and cockpit insulation materials to provide as much personal safety and comfort as possible. Flights into the 40,000's are facing temperatures of -140 degrees F. Extra capacity batteries in the wing spar areas provided current for radio communications, transponder tracking and flight data systems. Following the flight, the recording instrument had to be certified for this extra cold recording environment. Evaluation of the flight record, adjusting for local pressure variations revealed a high point above all commercial jet travel, and above most military flight test altitudes.

Posted: 2/20/2004 By: General News

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