US Army Zephyr UAV test flight shattering endurance records
There’s no longer any question about whether the US Army’s experimental flight of the solar-powered Zephyr UAV will break the aerial endurance record, only by how much the craft will shatter that mark with each additional day it remains aloft.
The US Army launched the Airbus produced Zephyr over the Arizona desert on June 15 with the objective of keeping the sun-driven UAV airborne for 30 days – long enough to add a few days to the old flight endurance record of 26. Little did they know just how game their bird would be. By the end of Monday, the craft will have powered itself through 53 days in the air, leading officials to admit they’re no longer really sure how long the giant craft will continue soaring overhead.
Zephyr has distinguished itself in previous testing by both the US Army and Airbus, including trials last autumn in which the stratospheric UAV flew a record 36 days in a pair of linked missions. During that outing, the craft –…