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CEO of Perlan Project to speak about unique sailplane initiative
by Tribune Staff
Apr 11, 2012 | 604 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print

RENO — The Reno Air Racing Foundation (RARF) will host the next seminar in the “Pathways to Aviation” series today. The event will feature Ed Warnock, CEO of the Perlan Project, and Paul McFarlane, lead flight director at the Challenger Learning Center, as they share their passion and educate students and enthusiasts about the world of flight. The event begins with light refreshments at 6 p.m. in the Great Room on the fourth floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union at the University of Nevada, Reno, followed by the speaking program at 7 p.m. in the theater on the third floor.

“Educating our youth about the important role aeronautics and aviation play in the successes our country has had in regard to science and technological advancement is vital,” RARF chairman Steve Carrick said. “The Perlan Project is a unique venture which explores a different side of flight and how it can be a tool for discovery and help us better understand the world we live in.”

Warnock earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s degree in systems theory. His extensive educational background led him to work at the Naval Weapons Center in China Lake, Calif., where he experienced his first glider ride. Soon after, Warnock became a pilot and mechanic with a non-profit organization that provides technical support service known as the Jungle Aviation and Radio Service (JAARS). His love for aviation sparked his interest in the Perlan Project and contributed to the active role he has on the team. The Perlan Project consists of three phases, each of which accomplishes a different goal. Currently, the Perlan Project is focusing its efforts on phase two: to soar 90,000 feet using stratospheric mountain waves and the Polar Vortex. The pressurized, high-altitude glider is designed to study the role of polar vortex winds and the role they play in ozone depletion and global weather patterns. The team will attempt to complete phase two in El Calafete, Argentina in August 2013.

For nearly 20 years, McFarlane has dedicated himself to educating K-12 and post-secondary students. Through his diverse training course, McFarlane helps students experience aviation and aeronautics and get them excited about what it has to offer. Selected as Outstanding Teacher and Senior Scholar for the College of Arts and Sciences at UNR, McFarlane is also a recipient of the Herz Gold Medal and Best of Education award from the Reno Gazette-Journal. Currently, McFarlane serves as the vice president of the Reno Film Festival.

Admission is free. To RSVP, reply no later than Friday, April 6 to Audrey Goodnight at 682-6002 or
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