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The HAWK30 solar HAPS (High-Altitude Pseudo-Satellite) unmanned aircraft successfully completed a first test flight at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. Flying at an altitude of approximately 65,000 feet above sea level and above the clouds, the HAWK30 is designed for continuous, extended missions of up to months without landing.
The HAWK30 has a wingspan of approximately 260 feet and is propelled by 10 electric motors powered by solar panels covering the surface of the wing, resulting in zero emissions.
AeroVironment, an expert in UAVs for both defense and commercial applications, partnered with SoftBank Corp to create HAPSMobile, the joint venture funding HAWK30 design development and demonstration, according to AeroVironment’s announcement.
Wahid Nawabi, AeroVironment president and chief executive officer said: “We are the pioneer and leader in HAPS, delivering continued progress and demonstrated success. We look forward to achieving even greater success in flight testing, culminating in high-altitude, long-endurance flight demonstrations that will pave the way for the global commercialization of HAPS technology.”