The world of silent flight will be celebrated at Soaring Expo 2011, held March 5-6 at The Museum of Flight in Seattle.
Exhibits include full-size gliders, radio-controlled gliders and the debut of a permanent display of the museum’s record-setting Perlan I glider (pictured). Seattle-native Einar Enevoldson and adventurer Steve Fossett flew the Perlan I to a world altitude record for gliders in 2006.
Lectures, movies and presentations are offered all weekend. Representatives of local soaring and RC glider clubs will be on hand to answer questions about the sport of soaring. Soaring Expo 2011 is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and free with admission to the museum.
Soaring Expo is an opportunity for non-pilots and airplane pilots to learn about the sport of soaring and what it takes to become a glider pilot. Lectures cover the basics of soaring, glider aerobatics, cross-country flying and competition soaring. A flight simulator will allow visitors to try their hand at soaring with a high-performance glider. Soaring clubs in attendance include Evergreen Soaring, Northwest Eagle Soaring, Pacific Aerosport, Seattle Area Soaring Society and the International Aerobatic Club.
Wearing NASA spacesuits and flying along the crest of the Andes of Argentina, the late aviator/explorer Steve Fossett with co-pilot Einar Enevoldson flew the Perlan I high-performance research glider to a new altitude record of 50,727 feet on Aug. 29, 2006. The previous record for gliders was set 20 years earlier in California. The two pilots had been trying to set the record for five years with attempts in New Zealand, the United States and Argentina. The Perlan I glider is an extensively modified German-built DG-505 sport glider. This unique sailplane was acquired by the museum in 2009; on March 5 the Perlan I takes its place with other historic aircraft on permanent display in the museum.
For more information: museumofflight.org