AeroVironment assembles first HAWK30 solar-powered aircraft

The composites-intensive HAWK30 solar-powered unmanned aircraft features solar panels on the wings and has been designed to fly at high altitudes for long periods of time.


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AeroVironment Inc. (Monrovia, Calif., U.S.) announced that it has assembled the first of its composites-intensive HAWK30 solar-powered aircraft — called a HAPS, which stands for High-Altitude Pseudo-Satellite or High-Altitude Platform Station — for its HAPSMobile joint venture with SoftBank Corp. (Tokyo, Japan). This assembly marks a milestone in the HAPS project, the company says.

Developed and assembled in AeroVironment’s HAPS Innovation Center, the HAWK30 is said to have a wingspan of approximately 260 feet and is propelled by 10 electric motors powered by solar panels covering the surface of the wing, resulting in zero emissions. Flying at an altitude of approximately 65,000 feet above sea level and above the clouds, the HAWK30 is designed for continuous, extended missions lasting up to months at a time without landing.

“AeroVironment recently rolled-out the first HAWK30 for our HAPSMobile joint venture, initiating a new phase of our design, development and demonstration program and the promise of a new era for global connectivity,” says Wahid Nawabi, AeroVironment president and CEO. “The result of decades of experience developing and flying solar HAPS, our team designed, developed and assembled the entire HAWK30 in only 24 months.This is very rapid for a HAPS of such large size and significant payload capacity.”

HAPSMobile also recently increased the ceiling value of its Design Development Agreement with AeroVironment by $39 million, to a total of $126 million.

“We are making great progress on this program and look forward to sharing future achievements with our shareholders and potential customers. We are excited to debut our next generation HAPS as we advance this strategically important project for HAPSMobile and for AeroVironment,” adds Nawabi.

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