HABLEG (High Altitude Balloon Launched Experimental Glider)


This is the sort of thing T3 entrants get up to, well done!

HABLEG has a mass of 7kg, a wingspan of 3m and can carry an additional payload of up to 3kg. The flight was conducted at the rocket base ESRANGE in northern Sweden, where the glider was lifted to an altitude of 20km by means of a helium balloon. Upon release in the low density atmosphere, a central challenge was the transition from freefall to horizontal stratospheric flight. Having achieved this critical part of the mission, the plane was then automatically guided back to base while performing it´s test flight program. All characteristics of the plane could be tested and validated within the one hour glide phase.

Touch-down occurred less than 50m away from the launch site which makes it the first successful flight of this kind in Europe.

This is the most elegant HAB Glider launch I have ever seen!


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Comment by MarcS on July 26, 2015 at 2:40pm

Hi Nick,

at 20km the plane just flies faster (50-60m/s, 13m/s at ground level), and actually the control surfaces are more effective under these conditions!! We underestimated this effect a little bit which led to a roll movement you can see in the video. By using the live video feed and our GCS we could quickly handle the situation. So you loose some altitude for speeding up (and the drogue for not stalling) and then pull out.

Actually you can fly at even higher altitudes like NASA did: http://marsairplane.larc.nasa.gov/

Launch is the most critical part and many projects failed at that point. If you stall at 20km, you will free fall to aprox. 10km and probably recover there.

Comment by Dan Murray on July 26, 2015 at 6:30pm

What airframe is that? Custom?

Comment by MarcS on July 27, 2015 at 1:20am

Hi Dan,

it´s a custom design to fly well at 20km (think Re-number..) and to house the equipment well insulated.


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