HAWK30 takes flight
The HAWK30 solar high-altitude pseudo-satellite (HAPS) UAS undertook its first flight on September 11, 2019 at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, AeroVironment announced on 16 September.
Developed by the AeroVironment and SoftBank Corp joint venture, HAPSMobile, the HAWK30 has a wingspan of approximately 260ft and is propelled by ten electric motors powered by solar panels covering the surface of the wing, resulting in zero emissions.
Flying at an altitude of approximately 65,000ft above sea level and above the clouds, the HAWK30 is designed for continuous, extended missions of up to months without landing.
Wahid Nawabi, AeroVironment president and chief executive officer, said: ‘The first flight of HAWK30 builds on more than two decades of pioneering HAPS technology development and demonstration by the AeroVironment team, and comes only two years since SoftBank joined us in this endeavour.
‘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 commercialisation of HAPS technology.’
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