UAVOS has confirmed that, in a joint partnership with Stratodynamics, it has successfully broken the record for stratospheric flight.
The stratospheric glider named the HiDRON was released from a Canadian Space Agency scientific gondola at an altitude of 111,434 feet (33.9 km) and performed a four hour controlled flight and landed at Iroquois Falls Airport about 80 km from the Timmins, Ontario launch site.
The flight once again confirmed the HiDRON’s capability to perform high-altitude missions and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations and set a new operational best for the flight in a challenging stratospheric environment.
Watch the flight here:
The night flight demonstrated the HiDRON’s BVLOS capabilities and was supported by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the French Space Agency (CNES) as part of the 2019 Strato-Science Balloon campaign at the balloon base.
The record setting flight achieved three firsts in Canadian Aviation, including the highest altitude flight of a UAV or RPAS, the first UAV above 29,000 feet in Class A airspace and first release of a UAV from a scientific gondola in Canada.
The HiDRON release from the CSA gondola is another first for the companies, as previous launches have been carried out by weather balloons.
Gary Pundsack, CEO at Stratodynamics Aviation, said: “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this pioneering flight in Canadian Aviation, and the spirit of collaboration that enabled this successful campaign. Special thanks goes to our colleagues at Transport Canada and NAV Canada who provided considerable efforts to enable these firsts in Canadian Aviation.”
Adding: “The Canadian Space Agency and the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales also provided great support and assistance. And thanks to the Iroquois Falls Cadet Flying site who graciously provided use of their facilities. The September 1st flight once again confirmed the Stratodynamics’ capability to perform high-altitude missions and BVLOS operations and set a new operational best for the HiDRON’s flight in challenging stratospheric environment.”