I don't see how the Airbus Pseudo-Satellite Zephyr solar plane can land safely.

It this video, it is "thrown" to take off, but no gear or something similar is visible. Will it just land on its belly?

This video shows, I think, landing footage, but only the runway is visible.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm guessing if it's light enough to be carried by (multiple) hand and launched, it can probably be recovered with some sort of elevated arrester or net without too much risk of damage. $\endgroup$
    – aerobot
    Nov 7 '18 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ @aerobot thanks for the guess, but I am not sure what are these, and from searching the internet, it's not clear.. In any case, I can imagine what you mean, but still, the question remains alive! $\endgroup$
    – gsamaras
    Nov 7 '18 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ It could land on grass without significant damage. In any case, it's designed to stay aloft for months or years. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Nov 7 '18 at 17:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't see how it could belly land with the props where they are $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Nov 7 '18 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ It flies so slowly that my guess is that they catch it, like the reverse of launching. It's hard to tell if that video shows it landing or launching. $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Nov 7 '18 at 19:47

After some power googling...


Launch and recovery The air vehicle is launched by hand. Recovery is by belly landing as the air vehicle has neither landing gear nor landing parachutes.


It is hand-launched by a five-man ground crew, and recovered by belly-landing.


Launch: hand launch Recovery: autonomous belly landing

It has two-bladed props, so they can be positioned to avoid a ground strike.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If you could see my deleted answer, you'd see that my assumption about a belly landing was correct, still providing sources for it was essential, thanks! $\endgroup$
    – gsamaras
    Mar 28 '19 at 9:42
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    $\begingroup$ The trick was to google "zephyr belly landing". :) $\endgroup$
    – MikeY
    Mar 28 '19 at 15:09

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