Unmanned solar plane breaks duration record

Artist's impression of Zephyr

A lightweight solar-powered plane has smashed the official world record for the longest-duration unmanned flight.

UK defense firm Qinetiq, which built the Zephyr unmanned aerial vehicle, said it flew for 54 hours during tests. The researchers believe it is the first time a solar-powered craft has flown under its own power through two nights.

The previous unmanned endurance record was set in 2001 by a jet-powered US Air Force Global Hawk surveillance aircraft which flew for more than 30 hours.

Source:  BBC News

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