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Once inside the jet stream altitude 7-15 km is it all that turbulent or is there a way to enter it smoothly for an ultralight plane or a powered glider? More info

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    $\begingroup$ The greater question might be: is the jet stream above the absolute ceiling of the aircraft in question? $\endgroup$ – J Walters Jan 23 '16 at 2:23
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    $\begingroup$ I can't see a pressurized aircraft still being considered an ultralight $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Jan 23 '16 at 14:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Jen Are you talking something like a space suit? Even at that a pressurization system of any kind would probably make the weight too high for it to be considered an "ultralight." Even the FAA's definition of the slightly broader term "light sport aircraft" specifies "unpressurized." A glider could do it as mins points out. Of course, the legality and licensing requirements would be a different story but I think you're just talking hypothetically $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Jan 23 '16 at 19:29
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    $\begingroup$ There might be exceptions, but the ultralights I have seen so far ar not certified above FL095 in the EASA jurisdiction. $\endgroup$ – Wirewrap Jan 24 '16 at 18:29
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    $\begingroup$ The current 15460-meter glider height record was made with pressurized suits. But it is only 500 meters higher than Harris' previous record from 1986, which was done with just an oxygen mask. $\endgroup$ – Martin Argerami Mar 11 '16 at 0:40
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Height is not the barrier. People have flown off Mount Everest - see http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/paragliding-everests-peak-kayaking-indian-ocean/story?id=21097292 as one example - though not when the jet stream is blowing over/around the mountain.

The problem is at the boundary layer between jet stream and none jet stream air when the aircraft only have air speeds of 20-50mph. The mixing of air, and the sudden hit of jet stream air speed will be well in excess of the gliders max air speed.

It has however been done in a hot air balloon. http://www.businessinsider.com/richard-branson-on-hot-air-ballooning-2014-10?IR=T

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  • $\begingroup$ What kind of gliders are you talking about when you say 'aircraft only have air speeds of 20-50mph'? The gliders I have flown have Vne at the excess of 160mph. The powered gliders I fly have cruise speeds of 100mph. $\endgroup$ – Masse Sep 26 '16 at 7:10
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    $\begingroup$ Ultralights based on hangliders have cruise speeds in the 20-40mph. $\endgroup$ – Michael Shaw Sep 26 '16 at 7:31
  • $\begingroup$ In that case could you modify your wording so that it would read 'in excess of the hanggliders max air speed' instead? $\endgroup$ – Masse Sep 26 '16 at 7:35

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