Zephyr Solar Plane Completes Longest Unmanned Flight Ever
Posted By Ariel Schwartz On July 26, 2010 @ 1:57 pm In Green Transportation,Solar Power | 3 Comments
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!
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.
Via UK Daily Mail 
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 Zephyr: http://inhabitat.com/2010/07/19/zephyr-to-complete-longest-unmanned-solar-flight-on-friday/
 aircraft: http://inhabitat.com/2010/07/08/sun-powered-solar-impulse-plane-completes-first-night-flight/
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 solar: http://www.inhabitat.com/solar-power/
 + QinetQ: http://www.qinetiq.com/home/newsroom/news_releases_homepage/2010/3rd_quarter/zephyr_-_14_days.html
 UK Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1297165/Zephyr-British-solar-powered-unmanned-aircraft-finally-lands-flying-non-stop-weeks.html?ITO=1490
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