Ariel Schwartz

Zephyr Solar Plane Completes Longest Unmanned Flight Ever

by , 07/26/10

zephyr, qinetq, solar, solar power, aircraft, green design

As expected, the Zephyr solar plane has officially broken the endurance record for an unmanned aircraft by flying for a whopping two weeks above an Arizona army range. The photovoltaic-powered Zephyr, which touched down on Friday, handily beat the previous world record of 30 hours with a new record of 336 hours!

zephyr, qinetq, solar, solar power, aircraft, green design

The plane was designed by research and defense company QinetQ as part of an effort to develop self-sufficient surveillance aircraft. The Zephyr is fairly large, with a 74 foot wingspan, but it’s light, too — it weighs just 110 pounds thanks to a lightweight carbon fiber body. During the day, Zephyr juices up with silicon solar arrays and it stores excess energy in lithium-sulphur batteries that are used at night.

No word yet on when Zephyr-like aircraft will be commercialized, but we’re jazzed to see that solar power has proven (and then some) to be a viable technology in the transportation industry.

+ QinetQ

Via UK Daily Mail

Related Posts

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


3 Comments

  1. davidwayneosedach July 30, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    What an invention! I’d love to see it up close and personal.

  2. gg123 July 29, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    This hardly proves that Solar powered planes can be used for transportation.

  3. chrisp68 July 29, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    @ AS – I know the company name is strange, but please spell it correctly. QinetiQ

    Thanks

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
What are you looking for? (Solar, HVAC, etc.)
Where are you located?