This is one of Steve Fossett’s many pet projects. Keep in mind that the powered aircraft record is only 80,000' and this thing is dependent on some really thin air blowing upward from the Andes to achieve this — the tow plane only takes it to 44,000' and the updrafts do the rest. They’re aiming for 90,000' if the conditions allow.

Despite being owned by Airbus, this is definitely a homegrown US endeavor.

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