Zephyr Solar-Powered UAV --Three World Records

Zephyr, the solar powered unmanned plane’s already set record has been officially confirmed. The aircraft has been developed by the defense and research company Qinetiq and has been declared by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) as holding three records. The records are for absolute duration of an unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) flight, flight duration for a UAV of its class and altitude record for a UAV of its class.

Zephyr comes under that class of unmanned craft that weights for 50-500kg and accounts for (21,562m/70,741ft). FAI is the world governing body for air sports and aeronautical world records. The organization has set the official duration at 336 hours, 22 minutes and eight seconds.


High altitude long endurance UAV - Zephyr

• Zephyr’s lightweight structure allows it to travel non-stop over long distances
• The unique propeller design gives the aircraft a high power to weight ratio
• The wing design maximises on thermal air currents to lift the aircraft to high altitudes
• The aircraft flies day and night powered by solar energy – recharging its batteries during the day
• No complicated launching mechanisms - the aircraft is launched by hand
• Zephyr is environmentally friendly
• Flies silently – no noise pollution

Zephyr is prepared for take off on its 2010 record breaking flight. The QinetiQ team launch Zephyr in 2008 Zephyr in flight, 2008 Zephyr in flight at dusk during its August 2008 flight.

Electric aircraft - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An electric aircraft is an aircraft that runs on electric motors rather than internal combustion engines, with electricity coming from fuel cells, solar cells, ultracapacitors, power beaming,[1] and/or batteries.
Currently flying electric aircraft are mostly experimental demonstrators, including manned and unmanned aerial vehicles. Electrically powered model aircraft have been flown since the 1970s, with one report in 1957.[2]

QinetiQ Zephyr

The QinetiQ Zephyr is a lightweight solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle engineered by the United Kingdom defence firm, QinetiQ. As of 23 July 2010 it holds the endurance record for an unmanned aerial vehicle of over 2 weeks (336 hours).[35]

It is of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer construction, the 2010 version weighing 50 kg (110 lb)[36] (the 2008 version weighed 30 kg (66 lb)) with a span of 22.5 metres[36] (the 2008 version had 18 metres (59 feet)). It uses sunlight to charge lithium-sulphur batteries during the day, which power the aircraft at night. The aircraft has been designed for use in observation and communications relay.[37]

The 2008 Zephyr version flew for 82-hours, reaching 61,000 foot in altitude in July 2008, the then unofficial world record for the longest duration unmanned flight. In July 2010 the 2010 version of the Zephyr made a world record unmanned aerial vehicle endurance flight of 336 hours, 22 minutes and 8 seconds (more than two weeks) and also set an altitude record of 70,000 feet.[38][39]