This strange craft has just broken the world's most important aviation record.

Last Sunday, the world record for subsonic aircraft was broken: the Airbus Perlan 2 double glider reached an altitude of 23, 000 meters, exceeding the previous achievement of the American U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, set on April 17, 1989, by 500 meters. At the same time, the U-2 was equipped with a powerful turbojet engine, while the Perlan 2 was content with extremely powerful updrafts.

Such currents form over the Argentine Andes, receiving additional energy annually for several weeks from the polar Antarctic eddies. As a result, ascending air streams are formed, reaching heights of 30.5 km.

The Perlan 2 weighs 816 kg, has a wingspan of 25.6 meters, and a length of 10.16 meters. The large wing area gives it the ability to climb to impressive heights. True, he still takes off from the ground with the help of a towing aircraft.

In the future, the eco-friendly glider-record holder will be able to participate in atmospheric research. It is expected to make several more test flights in September before attempting to break another altitude record of 27.5 km.