The goal of the SkySpark project is to design and build a complete “ecological” aircraft. All systems will be entirely electrically powered in order to set a new world record (the aircraft will fly over 500 km at an average speed of 300 km/h). It is a unique project as it sums 3 main competitive factors:
Highly innovative from a technological point of view
Commercially very attractive
It is based on technologies at the forefront of today’s research and of great interest in the future:
Hydrogen Fuel Cells and stocking systems
Lithium Polymers batteries
Electrical engine brushless
The SkySpark is coordinated by DigiSky, an engineering company specialized in R&D innovative technology for aeronautical applications. Team leader is Maurizio Cheli, astronaut and experimental test pilot (the only italian with the qualification of Flight Engineer on the Space Shuttle). His flight experience includes more than 3000 flying hours in over 50 different types of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters and a 377 hours flight in the space on the STS 75 Shuttle mission.
Where and When?
Launched in late 2007, the project is now in the technological components test phase; when completed, the Team will start the setting of the airplane and the first tests. The official presentation of the record plane will take place during the World Air Games 2009 (Torino, june 09). The record attempt is planned for autumn 09.