PHASE-8 First Flight success

PHASE-8 First Flight success

Prismatic are delighted to announce the successful first flight of Reynolds scale model of the PHASA-35 High Altitude, Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (HALE UAV). This 8.75m wingspan aircraft, PHASE-8, accurately mimics the aerodynamic behaviour, performance and control of the PHASA-35 and validates the key performance parameters that enable PHASA-35 to provide year round flight using existing, commodity battery technology.

Please see the attached press release for more details.

First successful flight of Prismatic PHASE-8 UAV




Maiden flight of over 75 minutes with perfect recovery


Prismatic’s PHASE-8 HALE UAV Reynolds scale test vehicle successfully completed its first flight trials this week. PHASE-8 is a major proving point in the development of Prismatic’s PHASA-35™ solar powered High Altitude, Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (HALE UAV), as the UAV flies with the same aerodynamic behaviour and performance (“Reynolds number”) as the full scale vehicle. With a Reynolds number model these critical tests can be carried out at sea level enabling more frequent – and lower cost – testing.

PHASE-8 is a highly capable UAV in its own right. With a wing span of 8.75m and utilising Prismatic’s PHASES™ power system design the aircraft could fly for many days however its main purpose is to validate and tune the aerodynamic behaviour of the PHASA-35™ HALE UAV. Darryl Sergison, Prismatic’s CTO and Principal Investigator for the flight trials, summarised the flight test, “On its maiden flight we secured over 75 minutes of fully instrumented flight time which enabled us to check out the basic stability of the vehicle, tune the auto-pilot and run a number of tests to start validating the performance. Such a long flight gives us a huge amount of data to analyse and our initial assessment is that the vehicle is performing as we hoped, which is great news for us and our customers.”

HALE UAV promises significant advantages for UK armed forces and allies as well as having great potential for commercial remote sensing, humanitarian support and improving connectivity to remote regions.

Paul Brooks, Managing Director of Prismatic Ltd. explained the importance of these early tests to users of HALE UAV, “To provide reliable, year round services HALE UAV must fly extremely efficiently in the very low Reynolds number environment of the upper atmosphere – above the clouds and strong winds. Every bit of efficiency we can gain enables us to offer the high value, low cost services achievable from HALE UAV to more people in more regions.” Paul then provided a simple metric to highlight the sensitivity of the efficiency gains proven through PHASE-8 flight, “The more efficient the aircraft, the higher the latitude for which we can provide year round services and each 1% improvement in efficiency we can demonstrate equates to an increased market of 150 million people – well worth all the effort.”

The flight trials of PHASE-8 have been supported by the UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) which was hosted by the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at the time.  Prismatic received funding through DASA’s Open Call for Innovation. This ‘catch-all competition’ is open to highly innovative ideas that challenge existing conventions and have a high potential benefit for the defence and security end user. It is an ongoing competition, where submissions are assessed monthly.

Prismatic wishes to express its gratitude for the timely and effective support that has enabled such a rapid and successful progression to this achievement.

For more information on the Defence and Security Accelerator and the Open Call for Innovation visit


Notes to editors:

Prismatic Ltd

Prismatic Ltd is a UK Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) based in Farnborough with World leading experience in solar powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) now completing the development of a High Altitude, Long Endurance (HALE) UAV, PHASA-35, capable of year long flight.


The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA)

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) finds and funds exploitable innovations which support the defence and security of the UK.  We aim to do this faster and more effectively so our security and armed forces have the most innovative defence capabilities in the world whilst generating economic value for the UK.  We believe DASA will become the go-to place for Government, private sector, partners and academics to find solutions to defence and security challenges and needs.

For more information contact the DASA communications team on or 01980 952939 Option 3.

Follow us on:

Twitter: @DASAccelerator




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