High Altitude Operations
The Stratos 714 is pressurized and equipped for flight up to 41,000 ft (maximum certificated altitude). The advantages of high altitude operations include improved efficiency, longer range, and being able to fly above most of the weather. However, high altitude flight poses a new set of issues that must be carefully addressed in terms of design and pilot training.
Stratos Aircraft will implement training programs and minimum experience requirements prior to flight to the higher flight levels. The training program will be through one of the major flight training companies to be announced.
It should be noted that the Stratos performs excellently at the lower flight levels as well. Refer to the cruise performance/range versus altitude chart: at FL 250 with 4/5 people and baggage, the Stratos is capable of speeds in excess of 400 KTAS with a range in excess of 1,000 nm with NBAA reserves.
This allows a pilot to fly in the lower flight levels while gaining experience prior to venturing safely into the higher flight levels. In fact, for shorter trips there is no reason to fly in the higher flight levels.
The structure of the Stratos 714 pressurized cabin is over-designed as an added safety factor. It will be capable of holding higher pressures than that required for certification. The transparencies (windshields and windows) are manufactured by a company that is a primary supplier for the airlines.
The plug door design further reduces chances of depressurization. All seals and penetrations of the pressurized vessel are designed to minimize the leak rate in case of power loss. Quick don mask for all 4 occupants is standard equipment. Nevertheless, the aircraft will be capable of rapid descent by use of speed-brakes in the unlikely event of depressurization.