HAPSMobile Inc., a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. and minority-owned by AeroVironment, Inc., announced the second successful test flight of the HAWK30 solar-powered high-altitude platform system (HAPS).
The test flight took place on Oct. 23 at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California.
The test flight reached altitudes higher than those of the previous flight, and was conducted continuously for approximately one hour and 30 minutes. The HAWK30 successfully achieved more than two dozen test points, including 180-degree turns and further validation of avionics, power and propulsion performance. The team also simulated precise landing control on the runway, similar to its commercial operation concept.
After operations at AFRC, HAPSMobile plans to transport HAWK30 to the Hawaiian island of Lanai and is accelerating preparations to perform stratospheric test flights at Lanai within the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020.
“We’re extremely pleased that the second test flight was a success. Seeing the HAWK30 fly gracefully, even under greater turbulence at higher altitudes, has given us confidence for future flights,” said Junichi Miyakawa, Representative Director & CTO of SoftBank Corp., and also President & CEO of HAPSMobile. “We’ll carefully verify the data from this test and move forward with preparations to conduct stratospheric flight tests. We’ll continue to work toward our ultimate goal of bridging the world’s digital divide and revolutionizing mobile connectivity by leveraging the HAPS platform.”
“Our team is delivering outstanding results to achieve our joint goal of addressing a very large market opportunity and to connecting people around the globe,” said Wahid Nawabi, AeroVironment Chief Executive Officer and a Director of HAPSMobile. “This was our second consecutive successful test flight in which we achieved important program objectives and demonstrated AeroVironment’s unique solar HAPS capabilities and experience. We thank our flight test partner, NASA, for its ongoing support with their facilities and flight test range as we validate this innovative unmanned aircraft system.”