May 5, 2017
Raphaël Domjan's solar plane was successfully tested on Friday in Payerne AB. Objective: a solar stratospheric flight at more than 24'000 meters.
"This first flight lasted about seven minutes," said Communications Officer Michel Gandillon.
SolarStratos, the solar plane of Raphaël Domjan, made its first flight on Friday morning above Payerne (VD, Switzerland). The test driver Damian Hischier was in command. A very first test of about 6 minutes. The first stratospheric flight is expected in 2019.
"The machine is mounted between 250 and 300 meters. The goal was not to achieve an altitude record, but to make a first flight. So far, everything was limited to a drawing board, "explained to the ats Raphaël Domjan, the initiator of the project.
"Overall, everything went well. Of course, small adjustments, there will be, "added the eco-enthusiast. The debriefing and the detailed analysis of the flight remain to be done. Test flights will continue from next week.
In the stratosphere
Ultimately, by 2019, the objective is to achieve the first solar stratospheric flight at over 24,000 meters, an altitude impossible to reach with a conventional propulsion. The aircraft is 8.5 meters long and 24.8 meters wide. It is covered with 22 square meters of solar panels and weighs 450 kilos.
In June, Raphaël Domjan will present his plane to Montreal, where 130 mayors of the world's largest cities meet. Then the test flights will continue. "We will fly two, then I will take the orders," added Domjan.
With Bertrand Piccard
With his two-seater, he hopes to beat the record of altitude reached by Solar Impulse, the 10'000 meters. And this with Bertrand Piccard on board, perhaps by the end of the year already.
First successful flight for solar plane SolarStratos (in French)
For reasons of weight, the device is not pressurized. To fly in the stratosphere, the pilot must wear a combination of astronaut. "As of next year, we will begin flights in a pressurized suit," Domjan said. The eco-enthusiast recalls that its objective is to promote renewable energies. "In the 20th century, the adventure was realized with fossil energies. In the 21st century, it is written with renewable energies, "he said.
Swiss adventurer unveils incredible stratospheric solar plane
Stratospheric flight with a solar plane
For more information about SolarStratos, visit: https://www.solarstratos.com/en/
Images, Video, Text, Credits: Revillard/Rezo/SolarStratos/nxp/ats/Le Matin/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.