The Nixus project has been in the making for about a decade and was spurred by Iscold’s Brazilian friend Sergio Andrade. The fuselage was purchased and Iscold designed the wings and flight controls. The project suffered a major setback last summer as the 93-foot wing snapped at the junction between the outboard and inboard wing panels during structural testing. After an unnamed famous sailplane designer told Iscold he wasn’t capable of completing the project, he considered abandoning it. But several people convinced Iscold to continue. “It’s a huge relief to put another one in the air,” he said. Today he sees the failure as a blessing as it allowed him to involve students from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California, where Iscold started working as a professor last year. About 25 people in total have contributed to the project, including one of Iscold’s Brazilian students who worked on flutter testing.