UK developed solar powered spy plane breaks flight record

August 24th, 2008 - 1:38 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug 24 (ANI): A solar powered spy plane developed by British scientists has completed the longest-lasting unmanned flight.

The solar-powered Zephyr aircraft developed by the UK defence and technology firm QinetiQ broke the record for the longest time spent in flight after remaining in the air for three and a half days, reports Telegraph.

With solar panels along its 60ft wingspan, the Zephyr promises to revolutionize military intelligence.

The unmanned aircraft stores power from the sun in its batteries, allowing it to continue through the night and, potentially, stay in the air for months at a time.

Unlike conventional spy planes, which need regular refuelling and so make relatively short flights, it will give commanders an unbroken picture of the battlefield.

The engineers who created the Zephyr also believe it will have important civilian applications, including search-and-rescue operations and police surveillance.

The plane is designed to provide surveillance and communication support for military personnel on the ground by circling slowly over a battle zone, tracking troop movements with its on-board camera. It can reach 70mph at 60,000ft. (ANI)

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