HAPSMobile completes test flight at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

HAPSMobile Inc. (“HAPSMobile”), a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO:9434) and minority-owned by AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), has announced its successful completion of the first HAWK30 solar-powered high-altitude platform system (HAPS) test flight on September 11, 2019 (PT) at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) in California, the company said.

HAWK30 is designed to serve as a stratospheric telecommunications platform system for delivering next-generation global connectivity.

After achieving NASA´s requirements for ground and range safety, on September 9 (PT) HAPSMobile received a limited flight release from NASA´s Airworthiness and Flight Safety Review Board to conduct a test flight of the HAWK30 aircraft in restricted airspace at AFRC.

After operations at AFRC, HAPSMobile plans to transport HAWK30 to the Hawaiian island of Lanai. HAPSMobile will accelerate preparations to perform stratospheric test flights at Lanai in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020.

HAPSMobile Inc. is a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. that plans and operates a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) business with the aim of bridging the world´s digital divide. HAPSMobile is primarily engaged in network equipment research and development for the HAPS business, construction of core networks, new business planning and activities for spectrum usage. AeroVironment, Inc. is HAPSMobile´s minority owner and aircraft development partner for “HAWK30,” a solar-powered unmanned aircraft designed for stratospheric telecommunications platform systems. HAPSMobile has a strategic relationship with Loon, a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.