SolarStratos, a unique two-seater solar-powered aircraft, will make its first flight to the fringes of space at an altitude of 22.8 km in 2018 for five hours.
The length of the aircraft is 8.5 meters. Its flight will be powered by a 32 kilowatt electric motor powered by a 20 kilowatt lithium-ion battery. The charge comes from solar panels that cover the wings of the aircraft. Their total area is 22 square meters.
The aircraft was built by PC-Aero and will be able to continuously stay in the air for 24 hours. According to the company, it will be the first commercial aircraft to reach the stratosphere.
The launch of SolarStratos will take place on December 7, that is, just a few months after the completion of the historic mission of the Solar Impulse aircraft, piloted by Raphael Domian. He will also be entrusted with piloting the SolarStratos. As a reminder, Solar Impulse completed the world's first round-the-world flight using solar-powered engines.
The first flight will last 5 hours during the day. Of these, it will take 2 hours to climb, 15 minutes to fly in the stratosphere and 3 hours to land. The pilot will be able to see the curvature of the Earth, the starry sky, experience the impact on the plane of cold - 70 ° C and pressure, which is only 5% of the earth.