Member - Politecnico di Torino

Politecnico di Torino is Italy’s oldest technical university (1859). It offers courses in Engineering, Architecture and Industrial Design.

Type Governmental institution
Founded 1859
Company Size 1000
Member Type
Founders Govern
Headquarters 10129 Torino TO, Italy
Social network


RAPID 200-Fuel Cell, first aeroplane in Europe and in the World fuelled by hydrogen, funded by European Commission and coordinated by Prof. Romeo of Politecnico di Torino, successfully concluded flight tests. The speed and endurance world records were established for Electrically- powered Aeroplane (Class C) Fuel Cells operated (ZERO EMISSION).

A research is being carried out at POLITO aiming at the design of Very-Long Endurance (6-9 months) Solar Powered Autonomous Stratospheric UAV (VESPAS-UAV) and manufacturing of solar powered prototype. The main advantage of VESPAS-UAV is that this system has less climb and descend events, important when considering interference with the aviation traffic. An area of 300km of diameter would be monitored (24h by 24h, seven days per week) by each one of this platforms. All the Mediterranean Sea could be electronically controlled by 8-9 platforms, drastically reducing in such way the service cost (800-1000 €/hour flight) in comparison to other manned aircraft (7.000-8.000 €/hour flight) or satellite systems, and tedious work.

A first configuration of HELIPLAT® was worked out, as a result of the preliminary design study by using the most advanced tools (wing span 73m). A 1:3 scaled size prototype (wing span 24 m , length 7 m) was built in order to show the technological feasibility. It was tested up to failure load to show reliability of technological process & theoretical analysis. The flying model SESA (Small Electric Solar Unmanned Airplane) was manufactured, to carry out several experimental flight test with a small UAV. SESA, powered by solar energy, has made its first flight, October 2007, representing the first Solar powered light UAV (weight 35kg) flying in Europe.

The experimental tests carried validated few critical technologies for high altitude very long endurance flight: high efficiency solar cells, electric brushless motor, controllers, video and thermo camera images transmission, etc. An autopilot system was installed on board for an autonomously flight up to 40km of distance; Satellite based Communication System was installed onboard for the Iridium© satellite communication network aiming to a BLOS flight.

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Headquarters 10129 Torino TO, Italy

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