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Successful Flight of Eiger Prototype

November 9, 2022

Destinus is ambitiously pursuing flight test heritage to put theories into practice. After a summer of preparation, Destinus’ second prototype, Eiger, took to the skies again and completed new successful flight tests. This is the second prototype we built, larger and more potent than Jungfrau – its predecessor, equipped with the latest instruments and with improvements to the design.

Perfect Flights

Our team pulled off picture-perfect flights at an airport near Munich. With a unique hypersonic aero shape design based on years of research, Eiger was soaring boldly in the sky. Onboard the prototype was a new suite of sensors, guidance navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers, an inertial measurement unit (IMU), an air data system, angle vanes, among other instruments and cameras for collecting a mountain of data from these experimental flights. The entire Destinus crew tuned in to the live stream to watch Eiger take to the skies and celebrated this successful milestone together.

A Summer of Preparation

Spread out in Switzerland, France, Spain, and Germany, the Eiger team spent most of the summer improving this prototype. This was a challenging task. Aerodynamicists worked on the flight stability of the airplane. Avionics engineers ensured the reliability of our communications systems. Expert mechanics upgraded the control surface actuation systems. Systems engineers ensured that the necessary instruments and sensors were placed onboard for collecting data for future flights. In parallel, additional flights of the prototype, Jungfrau, were performed to gain experience and insight into this unique shape.

Destinus’ Prototype Approach

Eiger, among our other existing and planned prototypes, serves as an experimental flight platform for engineering teams to test new equipment directly in-flight (rather than using wind tunnels or just desktop analysis). This means we get more accurate data and can better validate aspects of our products. With each prototype we go faster, bigger, and get closer to our dream – a hypersonic future powered by hydrogen. An airplane that will challenge the limits of time, space, sustainability, and human potential.

Next Steps

Our team is currently analyzing the data from the recent flight tests and is, in parallel, working on our next prototype that will serve as a testbed for supersonic flight and hydrogen propulsion. We aim to start these flight campaigns for this new prototype by the end of next year. Destinus is taking a significant step forward in realizing hypersonic transportation by demonstrating the speed at which we can design, build, and fly prototypes. We are thrilled to have reached this milestone and look forward to many more.

Watch the video here!