UAVOS has announced the prototype of the High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) ApusDuo aircraft that has completed the first stage of flight tests, according to New Atlas.
The HAPS aircraft is designed to take up the space between drones and satellites, going up in the air as high as 65,000 ft. From this vantage point, the aircraft can monitor the environment in the atmosphere and on the ground. HAPS can also beam internet or radio communications over long distances, and perform military surveillance operations.
The ApusDuo aircraft has two long parallel wings connected and supported by three perpendicular struts. The wings use solar panels for power, and can autonomously bend and flex to keep the aircraft airborne for up to an entire year.
The video, which shows a larger prototype, displays the HAPS aircraft with a wingspan of 32.8 ft taking off. The ApusDuo has successfully completed all test flights, verifying its aerodynamics and ensuring all the control algorithms can operate during takeoff, landing and while in the air.
ApusDuo currently takes three people to launch, is only a fraction of the final craft, which will measure over 90 ft.