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New conclusive tests ahead of this summer’s record attempt

Back in the air

SolarStratos was back in the air in May for a second round of test flights in 2024 ahead of the 10,000m record attempt scheduled for the summer in Valais. Some essential tests were ticked off, Raphaël Domjan was delighted to get back in the driving seat of HB-SXA, and test pilot Gérald Ducoin flew the aircraft up to 3,300m (10,000ft) during a 75-minute flight, successfully completing all planned tests. Everything is in place to move the plane to Sion in June ahead of an attempt from mid-July to set a record for the highest altitude reached by a manned electric and solar aircraft. Stay tuned!

Free-fall test

In another crucial step forward, Raphaël Domjan successfully tested our free-fall oxygen systems at RealFly Sion. We’d like to extend our thanks to the entire technical team, and of course to LD Switzerland helmets.

Take off into the future

The Avions écolo, décollage vers le futur (Eco planes, take off into the future) documentary was released on May 15 and broadcast on RTS. Over five minutes of the programme are dedicated to our mission, including images of Raphaël Domjan and Prince Albert of Monaco’s flight in a Pipistrel – the first by a head of state in an electric plane. The German national channel SRF will be broadcasting a shorter version in June, and the show will also air on Spanish and Swedish TV. On June 18, ARTE will broadcast it at 20:15 in Germany and 20:45 in France. Peter Bardehle has captured the essence of our mission and we extend our thanks to him for working with us to promote a more sustainable world.

Elysée Palace reception

Jean-François Clervoy was awarded the rank of Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur by French President Emmanuel Macron this month and Raphaël Domjan – a friend of the astronaut – was at his side for the occasion. He shared the wonderful moment across social media with this beautiful photo.

Spring cleaning

We had announced ‘operation spring clean’ and on Tuesday May 21, it happened! HB-SXA was given a thorough polish in the hangar at the home base in Payerne. Not only does this make the fuselage shine, but it makes for a smoother ride. Who would have thought!