In Valais, H55 develops the electric plane of the futureThursday, 1 March 2018
© Michael Portmann
The start-up created by André Borschberg, co-founder and pilot of the Solar Impulse project, has raised almost 5 million francs. These funds will allow the company to work on an all-electric two-seater aircraft capable of flying for two hours.
Electric aviation company Hangar 55 (H55), a Solar Impulse technological legacy, has secured 5 million francs in financing, including 3.5 million from Swiss-American venture capital firm NanoDimension. The funding will be used to build the plane of tomorrow.
H55 focuses on the entire propulsion chain starting from the energy source and its management, right through thrust and power, as well as pilot interface and all control systems. Thanks to this important investment, it will be able to pursue the development of electric propulsion solutions and battery management systems for the aviation industry.
Strategically based in Sion, H55 benefits from the proximity of EPFL and the airport, as well as favorable weather conditions for conducting tests. The start-up is supported by The Ark Foundation and the Federal Office of Civil Aviation.
According to André Borschberg, co-founder of H55, Switzerland will have a key role in the upcoming aviation revolution: “Electric aviation requires skills that we master in Switzerland, a know-how with high added value. And we have considerable drone expertise in the region. This is very valuable. Everything we do in the drone industry will help us develop autonomous passenger flights,” he told daily newspaper L'Agefi. H55 is currently working on an electric plane that can fly for two hours and for which the first tests will begin this summer. The electric plane of the future could become a reality in just three years.