the solar-powered stratospheric aircraft, solarstratos, flew for the first time in payerne, switzerland today during a test flight. conditions were optimal and the team are delighted with the result of years work. under the watchful eye of raphael domjan – eco-explorer, solarstratos pilot, and the person behind the project – the test pilot flew solarstratos for seven minutes at an altitude of 300 meters, before landing and returning to the hanger. the group will now study the test flight results before scheduling a longer flight at higher altitude.

all images © revillard / rezo / solarstratos



the maiden flight of the solarstratos prototype designed by calin gologan (elektra-solar GmbH), planned by the solarstratos engineers and technical team, was a resounding success. raphael domjan, was delighted with the results of the inaugural flight:


‘we were impatient for this moment and are happy with our first flight and the way that the plane behaved. now we must continue to work hard to learn how to harness the potential of this solar-powered treasure. we want to demonstrate that with current technology, it is possible to go beyond what fossil fuels offer. “electric and solar vehicles are among the major challenges of the 21st century. our plane which can fly at 25,000 metres, opens a window to electric and solar-powered high-altitude aviation – something that has never before been attempted. only by flying can we work out the plane’s limits and today’s short flight was an important first step on this pathway.’


the solarstratos test pilot, damian hischier, was enthusiastic at the end of the first flight, ‘the plane is very nice to fly. it is responsive and it is obvious that it has been very well designed and built. the solarstratos team have an excellent baseline to work from as they progress to the next step of this pioneering and ambitious project.’


standing on the edge of the runway in payerne, solarstratos CEO, roland loos, did not miss a moment of the action, ‘we are particularly pleased to have taken this crucial step in the development of our project. solarstratos aims to promote renewable energies and to demonstrate that concepts and projects that seemed inconceivable five years ago are possible thanks to the technology available today. technology in the field of solar-electric aviation is still in its infancy, so this is just the beginning of a great adventure.’


  • Bravo ! and congratulations. Best wishes on your further testing. The aircraft is spectacular. Cannot wait to see more. Bruce in USA

    Bruce Gamble says:

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