Sporting a 59 foot wingspan, the Qinetiq unmanned aerial vehicle is likely capable of setting a new world record for sustained unmanned flight. The previous record was set in 2001 by a jet-powered vehicle. The Qinetiq Zephyr, on the other hand, is powered by nothing but sunlight. The solar craft was able to stay airborne over the course of two nights using solar energy stored on-board during the day. The team in charge of the vehicle claims that it has stayed airborne for 54 hours, but this is n
I just ran across this very in-depth article that introduces us to a new team, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, who hopes to rewrite the record books when it comes to solar aviation. They are doing so with a rather small airplane (compared to previous solar fliers) known as SunSailor.