Aircrafts

 

Customer: QinetiQ Group PLC

Product: Solar-powered ultralight aircraft „Zephyr" for use in stratosphere

Batteries feed an electric motor and are charged during the day by solar panels

 

Challenge

At an altitude of 20 km and at temperatures of below - 50 ºC, batteries are not functional. For this reason, the former world record for endurance flights totalled only 36 hours, as the batteries failed during the night. In addition, the entire

aircraft could only weigh 50 kg with a 23 m wingspan. Therefore, the aim was to provide the optimum insulation and keep it as lightweight as possible.

 

Solution

Our flexible va-Q-pro "folding box panels" made in one piece are exceptionally lightweight with optimum insulation properties. They are only 6 mm thick and can be installed with great flexibility. Through their assistance, batteries are able to keep themselves warm (passive), resulting in a new world record: a 336-hour non-stop flight at an altitude of over 21 km.

 Zephyr-2010-launch2.jpg