AeroVironment, Inc. is a leader in Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Electric Vehicle Charging Systems, and Power Cycling & Test Systems.40 Years of Human Power™

Solar Challenger

The Solar Challenger long-held the World’s record for the highest, farthest, and longest solar-powered manned flight. On July 7, 1981, the Solar Challenger completed the 163 mile trek from Corneille-en-Verin Airport, north of Paris, France to Manston Royal Air Force Base in Manston, United Kingdom, staying aloft 5 hours and 23 minutes, with pilot Stephen Ptacek at the controls. Built as a demonstrator for solar power and advanced composite structural materials.  The complete airframe including the solar propulsion system weighed only 205 pounds, and was designed for a 9-g ultimate load factor.

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