A new round of test flights are underway in Payerne
Test flights have resumed at the Payerne base with test pilot, Damian Hischier, at the controls of the solar aircraft. He will hand over to Raphaël Domjan this summer for a first round of take-offs and solo flights at low altitude. During these trials, the team will test the modifications made over the winter and Raphaël will get a chance to transition from simulator to flying SolarStratos in real conditions. Getting back in the air is a crucial step for the team in the evolution of the project and its future records.
New partners join SolarStratos
SolarStratos is delighted to announce two new partners and welcomes them to their ground-breaking adventure:
SUNPOWER, energy partner to the project, is a company focussed on innovative solar solutions, including photovoltaic cells
SWISS, the national airline serving more than 100 destinations and part of the Lufthansa Group, a member of the Star Alliance
PEMSA is an employment agency in construction
The SolarStratos team welcomes them and thanks them for their trust, the team would also like to thank all existing partners and Club members for their continued unconditional support.
A distinguished guest visits the SolarStratos base in Payerne
French astronaut, Thomas Pesquet, paid a visit to the SolarStratos team in Payerne recently: “I met him at the Espace Gruyere 20th anniversary,” said Raphaël. “He was giving a lecture in front of 2,300 people. We did a round table together which was very nice, and I invited him to visit us in Payerne. He came the next day!”
The European Space Agency astronaut was intrigued by the solar aircraft and spoke about the project with Raphaël in great detail: “He was passionate about our project, he wanted to see everything, including the space suit, the smell of which reminded him of his most recent trip into space!”
Forum des 100 – Beautiful presentation in the presence of a panel of prestigious guests
Raphaël was recently invited to speak at the Forum of the 100, the theme of which was ‘reinventing mobility’. He presented the SolarStratos Mission to the 800 personalities present, including Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, Vaud State Councillors Nuria Gorité and Pascal Broulis, and Nobel Prize winner Jacques Dubochet. A magnificent opportunity for our eco-explorer to demonstrate the potential of renewable energies in tomorrow’s mobility.
The Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) stressed the importance of Swiss environmental projects in relation to future mobility and sustainable development. She also recalled the Confederation’s support for ambitious projects, such as the SolarStratos Mission, and said that she was looking forward to seeing the solar plane for real, on its base in Payerne.
Partner reception in Payerne
SolarStratos hosted a celebration at the base in Payerne on the 25 May for the team’s partners. The friendly gathering was an opportunity to celebrate the relaunch of the test flights and for Raphaël to thank the partners for their support face to face. Without them, the SolarStratos project would never have seen the light of day.
The evening also gave Raphaelle Javet, director of the PlanetSolar Foundation, a chance to present the Solar Vehicles Exhibition at the heart of the SolarStratos base.
Stratospheric greetings to you!
The SolarStratos team