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ATA Engineering Performs Vibration Testing of Perlan 2 Glider

ATA is assisting in the development of the groundbreaking Perlan 2 space glider.

SAN DIEGO, Calif., November 10, 2015 – ATA Engineering today began the ground vibration test (GVT) of an experimental space glider, the Perlan 2, for the Airbus Perlan Mission II initiative.

The Perlan 2, an engineless sailplane designed to glide on air currents to reach an altitude of 90,000 feet at speeds of over 400 mph, is scheduled for a record-breaking flight to the edge of space in 2016, following its recent first flight in September of this year. However, the final stages of testing remain before it can take this historic step, including the performance of ground vibration testing. This testing is critically important for an aircraft intended to fly at the high altitudes and airspeeds for which the Perlan 2 has been designed, where flutter and turbulence pose great risks. To meet these challenges, ATA Engineering, as a recognized expert provider of testing and analysis for the aerospace industry, was selected by the Perlan Project team to perform the GVT.

The GVT being conducted in the test laboratory at ATA’s San Diego headquarters will subject the aircraft to controlled vibration and measure its responses to determine its structural characteristics. This crucial testing is being performed under the direction of Ralph Brillhart, ATA’s vice president of testing. Mr. Brillhart discussed ATA’s involvement in the project, stating, “We’re glad to have the opportunity to assist the Airbus Perlan Mission II team in developing such an innovative aircraft, and we’re looking forward to the success of its scientific mission.”

For more than a decade ATA has been the leading independent company for performing modal and dynamic testing of aircraft. In addition to extensive testing of aerospace hardware in the USA, ATA has supported testing of military and commercial products in more than half a dozen countries around the world.

Read the San Diego Union-Tribune article here.

Watch the CBS News video clip here.