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The Prince’s visit

Thank you, Your Highness!

It’s not every day that we have the honour of welcoming a prince! On Monday 4 September, SolarStratos hosted H.S.H Prince Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco at the team base in Payerne, alongside a number of guests that included Vaud Minister Isabelle Moret, Neuchâtel Councillor of State Céline Vara and National Councillor Francois Pointet. Media coverage of the visit highlighted the Sovereign Prince’s commitment to a more responsible planet through the Albert II of Monaco Foundation. The Monegasque sovereign’s commitment and support made the visit all the more inspiring – it was a rare and moving moment for the entire SolarStratos team. Thank you, Your Highness! And now SolarStratos will reset its sights on the upcoming flights and the next major challenge of flying at 10,000 metres.

A simulator flight… and for real!

Presented with a SolarStratos mission jacket bearing his name on arrival, Prince Albert II explored HB-SXA, before trying his hand at the three-axis flight simulator accompanied by Raphaël Domjan. The prince had previously flown with Raphaël in Monaco on 14 September 2021 when he became the first head of state to fly electric. He subsequently received the relevant diploma from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). During a second electric-powered flight, H.S.H flew across Lake Neuchâtel, even taking control of the plane for a moment.

CSEM: a royal visit to the centre of excellence

The Sovereign Prince’s stay naturally included an official meeting with the Neuchâtel authorities, plus a visit to the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), a centre of excellence in photovoltaic cells and partner of Solarstratos. H.S.H. Prince Albert discovered the latest innovations and efficiency records, and Professor Christophe Baillif presented him with a personalised solar cell!


Heading for Lake Titicaca with PlanetSolar II

Invited by PlanetSolar Foundation, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco visited us alongside the Peruvian Ambassador, Mr Luis Alberto Castro Joo, to learn more about the PlanetSolar II expedition. An Aquabus T 850 – a 12-seater water taxi – is due to be transported to Lake Titicaca in Peru, the highest navigable lake in the world at 4,000 metres. PlanetSolar II will showcase solar-powered navigation against the backdrop of a fragile ecosystem, where altitude reduces the efficiency of internal combustion engines. The project fits with the objectives of the Albert II of Monaco Foundation which supports initiatives that improve the protection of our environment. Welcome aboard the PlanetSolar II project, Monsignor!


Next up: 10,000 metres

Autumn is upon us, but the year is not over for HB-SXA. Weather permitting, there will be further flights before winter to test the modifications made over the summer, in particular the new battery configuration. “The aim is to be ready for the mission’s next objective in spring 2024,” said Roland Loos, mission CEO. The next objective is well known: SolarStratos aims to fly at 10,000 metres, the highest altitude ever reached by a manned electric and solar-powered aircraft.