The solar pioneer drone of Airbus has managed to set a world record on its maiden voyage.
The Zephyr S was able to stay at 70,000 feet in the air for 25 days, 23 hours and seven minutes.
That was enough to set a world record for the longest continuous flight in Earth's atmosphere.
The ship landed safely on Wednesday after spending approximately three weeks in the air, two-thirds more than the previous record holder, according to Bloomberg.
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The solar pioneer drone of Airbus has managed to set a world record on its maiden voyage. After taking off on July 11, he was able to stay in the air for an amazing 25 days, 23 hours and seven minutes, which gave him a world record
Zephyr S took off on its first test flight from Arizona on July 11 and has remained on the air ever since.
The previous record was established by a Zephyr drone prototype in 2015, when it managed to stay in the air for 14 days.
The drone had already broken this record on July 25, but Airbus had to wait to land the drone before it could officially announce the milestone.
& # 39; Zephyr S, Airbus & # 39; High-Altitude-Pseudo-Satellite, has surpassed the current flight resistance record of an aircraft without refueling for 14 days, 22 minutes and 8 seconds and continues to be a pioneer in the stratosphere, "the company said.
Airbus presented its pioneer drone with solar energy last month. Called Zephyr S, the aerospace giant presented the "pseudo-satellite" to the crowds gathered at the Farnborough air show in Britain. Now he is planning to start new tests in Australia
"This first flight of the Zephyr S aims to demonstrate and demonstrate the capabilities of the aircraft, with the latest resistance record to be confirmed upon landing."
Zephyr S can operate at an altitude that is higher than Earth's weather systems, Bloomberg said.
Previously, this was an altitude that was only reserved for the supersonic Concorde aircraft, the U2 spy plane and the Mach 3 SR-71 Blackbird from Lockheed Martin.
This allows the drone to charge its solar panels more efficiently.
Additional test flights are planned at a site in Western Australia, Airbus said.
The unmanned aircraft was largely capable of reaching the new record thanks to its ultralight design: it has a wingspan of 82 feet, but weighs less than 165 pounds.
The aerospace giant presented the "pseudo-satellite" to the crowds gathered at the Farnborough air show in Britain.
"This inaugural flight of the Zephyr S aims to test and demonstrate the capabilities of the aircraft, with a landing date to be confirmed once the engineering objectives have been achieved," Airbus said in a statement announcing the test flight. .
"Until today, the Zephyr aircraft has registered almost 1,000 hours of flight."
The high-altitude pseudo-satellite can fly as high as 70,000 feet in the air, which is double the height of a commercial aircraft. The drone has so much resistance thanks to its ultralight design. It has a wingspan of 82 feet, but weighs less than 165 pounds
WHAT IS AIRBUS & ZEPHYR-S & # 39; PSEUDO-SATELLITE?
The Zephyr S has been built by the engineers of Airbus Defense and Space.
It is powered by the sun during the day, which also recharges its lithium-sulfur batteries to feed it during the night. His large wingspan of 22.5m means that he can be thrown by four soldiers on his shoulders.
The psuedo-satellite & # 39; It can fly over 70,000 feet, twice the height of a commercial aircraft.
British military forces will use the high-tech aircraft to monitor targets on the ground from anywhere in the world.
Zephyr drones will play a vital role in tracking ground targets using high-tech antennas and a "registration kit" for high-altitude surveillance
Zephyr S has been in development for over a year and will be used by British military forces as a high-tech aircraft to monitor targets on the ground from anywhere in the world.
The High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) can fly as high as 70,000 feet in the air, which is double the altitude of a commercial aircraft.
During the day, it works with solar energy that also recharges its lithium-sulfur batteries, which then serve as an energy source during the night.
& # 39; This has been chosen as the first launch and recovery site for the Zephyr [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] mainly due to its largely unrestricted airspace and reliable climate, "Airbus said.
The site will be operational as of September, the company added.
Zephyr S has been in development for over a year and will be used by British military as a high-tech aircraft to monitor targets on the ground from anywhere. During the day, it works with solar energy that recharges its lithium-sulfur batteries
Elite units will use the camera on the plane to monitor the movement of the ground. Its antennas provide a communications platform for the ends of the world
In addition to the Zephyr S, Airbus is also planning another HAPS called Zephyr T.
It would have a wingspan of more than 100 feet, which allows it to carry larger payloads.
The drones are "a mixture between a satellite and a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) with the capabilities of a satellite and the flexibility of a UAV," Jana Rosenmann, senior vice president of unmanned aerial systems at Airbus, told AFP.
In addition to national security uses, drones will also be used for maritime surveillance, border patrol missions and forest fire detection, according to the AFP.
If satellites are not available, special forces soldiers will use a control station to fly over a range of up to 400 km (250 miles).
The Elite units will then use the camera on the plane to monitor the movement of the earth. The Ministry of Defense of Great Britain has already ordered two of the Zephyr drones.
Its antennas provide a communications platform for the ends of the globe.