Jim Payne 2

Jim Payne is the World Altitude Record holder in a sailplane and Chief Pilot of the Perlan Project. Jim has beaten his own numerous records several times flying the Perlan 2. Jim was a US Air force pilot, test pilot and test pilot instructor. He was a consultant to NASA and managed Northrop’s Global Hawk flight test program.

On his most recent record flight, Jim flew from El Calafate, Argentina with Perlan 2 team member Tim Gardner to an FAI ratified altitude of 74,334 ft  (76,124 ft pressure altitude) on 2 September 2018. This altitude surpassed the previous highest ever subsonic flight to 73,737 ft  by a Lockheed U-2 in 1989.

This flight also far exceed his previous record flights flown with Morgan Sandercock of 60,669 ft on 26 August 2018 and 63,776 ft flying with Miguel Iturmendi on 28 August 2018.

Jim and the Perlan 2 are based at Minden-Tahoe Airport in Nevada. Gliding News met with Jim in his hangar and talked to him about his flying and current projects including Blue Condor.

You can watch the interview below.


Flight Trace

You can also watch video from the Perlan 2

Find out more about Perlan 2 and the Blue Condor Project


airbus.com Blue Condor