back to article PRATCHETT chats to Oz from 31,000m above Planet Earth

EDGE22 - PRATCHETT Mission Summary The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission is in good shape after the final test flight of our Vulture 2 spaceplane's avionics - dubbed PRATCHETT - soared to 31,050m (101,870ft) above Colorado on Saturday. Our US allies at Edge Research Laboratory piggybacked the PRATCHETT …

  1. Peter Simpson 1

    Looks like you had great weather for it!

    And very successful, too. Being in sight of the touchdown is proof of that.

    // No LOHAN tankards visible?

    // Just checked Google - Springs EAST Airport is comfortingly located EAST of Colorado Springs, not west.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Looks like you had great weather for it!

      Sadly, the only LOHAN team member who has a tankard is me, and that's because I had to approve it. We'll rectify this outrageous oversight when the time comes...

      1. Fizzle

        Re: Looks like you had great weather for it!

        The SAFETY switch was disabled????

        Remind me never to fly in a Pratchett airliner!!

        PS Well done anyway!

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: Looks like you had great weather for it!

          Well, it's not really a safety switch, more an "arm" button. Disabling it saves us having to go up to 15,000m, for example, if the Pixhawk resets. That said, I would indeed never fly LOHAN Air myself, and leave it to our plucky Playmonaut.

    2. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Looks like you had great weather for it!

      My bad. West/east now rectified. Cheers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Looks like you had great weather for it!

        "My bad. West/east now rectified. Cheers."

        Must have resulted from using kilometers when discussing distance in the USA. It's an easy mistake to make - I always get speeding tickets when I drive in Canada too.

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    And one from me too.

    Excellent stuff. Really enjoying the highly boffinatious report too.

  3. Joe Loughry

    like reading reports from the early space programme

    Great walk-though of the graphs and figures!

  4. Mark 85

    Well done!!!

    A well-deserved pint for everyone except the FAA.... maybe we need petition? This is serious boffinry and to me it's a amazing what's been accomplished.

  5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge


    ...will young Leslie fit in LOHANs cockpit, will LOHAN have to be redesigned to fit him or will he be in college by the time the FAA give approval?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: So....

      University, the way things are going...

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: So....

        Doing a post-doc probably.

  6. VeganVegan


    While you are waiting for the FAA, Is there any chance of testing LOHAN in a wind tunnel to verify its aerodynamics?

  7. Marty@wainui

    Hey What?

    Who is this terry Pratchett geezer?? Are you referring to Bob Cratchit?

  8. Tikimon

    Still no plans to flight test?

    If this were a full-sized aircraft, the design process would look really strange. The avionics and pilot have been separately tested, but not the actual airframe, engine, or maneuver-control. Yet the design team is having beers all around and declaring the system ready to fly.

    It's a long step from a passive paper glider to a rocket-powered, self-steering craft (of original design, I might add). It would be really nice to know if it can fly straight and stable, the control surfaces not jam under load or simply tear off, the autopilot can actually fly the plane in a stable profile, minor details like that.

    I've eagerly followed the SPB's mayhem for years, and wish the project well. I'm concerned by this heavy focus on monitoring when you have no idea if the aircraft actually flies.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You guys are awesome but...

    Hurry up and launch the damn thing !

  10. /tmp

    RF noise

    If you haven't already done so, consider mounting your receiving antenna for the RFD900u as far away from other electronics as is practical, even if this means having it trail behind the aircraft. In my experience, maximizing physical separation is the approach to try first. One over R squared drops of very quickly when R starts out quite small.

  11. codemonkey
    Black Helicopters


    Will this prove the Flat Earth folks wrong after all? :D

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