The Eole demonstrator is marking a major step forward in the development : four flights have already been carried out at the Saint-Yan airfield in Burgundy, each lasting about 20 minutes, at low speed, and with or without an experimental rocket payload. These flights confirmed the good performance of Eole.
The development of Eole started in 2009. It is being co-developed by French aerospace research center Onera as prime contractor and the company Aviation Design, a small French company specialized in flight demonstrators. It is mainly funded by CNES, with a contribution from Onera.
This experimental aircraft, patended in 2012, is being used to study the feasibility of replacing the first stage of a conventional launch vehicle by an automated, reusable launch aircraft. The aim of this program is to prove the technological validity of this innovative launch concept, designed to orbit nanosatellites (from 10 to 50 kg) quickly and at moderate cost.
To discover all the story of this great success in radio-podcast, in pictures, in video and in text.