On the evening of Monday 17 April the trailer carrying HB-SXA arrived in Payerne from our partner Elektra Solar in Germany.. The atmosphere around its arrival resembled that of a spy movie, the airplane passed through the security gate in the middle of the night and soundlessly crossed the tarmac before slipping into the SolarStratos home base which was lit up in welcome. In the hours that followed its arrival the plane was reunited with its wings and various other components, and emerged just in time for the partners’ evening with a new face – literally. HB-SXA is now ready to fly – without emissions – towards the challenges and records planned for 2023. Take off will happen as soon as all the technical modifications are approved by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) and a new permit to fly is issued.
A new nose
Have you noticed the change? The new engine, its new larger propellor with improved variable pitch, and the new battery arrangement have changed the front of HB-SXA quite a bit. The plane has a new nose, and above all a new smile as the increase from six to eight batteries for the next altitude record require an increase in air supply for cooling purposes. Hence the larger opening at the front of the fuselage in the shape of a fish’s mouth. A new and friendlier look!
A partners’ evening and a boost
The SolarStratos partners were invited to the home base in Payerne on Wednesday 19 April for the much-anticipated partners’ evening. The gathering was an opportunity to present the latest technical modifications that will facilitate a first attempt at an altitude record this summer, plus the forthcoming events such as the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva in May and the Paris Air Show in June. The plane’s new face did not go unnoticed!
During the evening guests were invited to express in a few words what they think the strength of the project is. Their answers, which gave the whole team a boost, can be found online on LinkedIn: here and here and Facebook.
Support for the climate bill
During the partners’ evening, Raphaël Domjan informed the sponsors of SolarStratos’ support for the Climate Law that will be put to a popular vote on 18 June. “An electric and solar aircraft project, which aims to be a platform for promoting solar energy and sustainability, must support Switzerland’s ambition to achieve climate neutrality by 2050,” he said.
Paris Air Show:
scouting in Le Bourget
The International Paris Air Show is a mega-event. And as you know, SolarStratos has the opportunity to feature among the giants of aeronautics with its small electric and solar aircraft from the 19 to 25 June. There are even plans for an exhibition flight over the ‘City of Light’, weather conditions permitting. The event which creates a city of 20,000 inhabitants for over 300,000 visitors and 3,000 journalists, requires a great deal of preparation. On 17 April, our Marketing and Events Manager, Jennifer Uldry, travelled to Paris for the exhibitors’ day along with Coralie Jugan, our press officer in France. We aim to shine and look forward to welcoming you in June. But before that, don’t miss SolarStratos at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition at Geneva-Palexpo from 23 to 25 May – come and try our simulator! We look forward to welcoming you onboard.