Airbus Zephyr UAV’s US Army flight just misses endurance record
So close, but in the end, no superlative cigar. After 64 straight days of solar-powered flight, the US Army’s Airbus-built Zephyr UAV reportedly plunged from the skies over Arizona, just hours shy of breaking the all-time record for continuous navigation by an aircraft.
When it took off on June 18, the Airbus-produced Zephyr began what its US Army operators had hoped would be a 30-day solar power flight to surpass the previous mark of 26 days. Instead, the UAV plowed through that time target and – in aerial Duracell Bunny fashion – just kept going and going, with nobody involved in the project quite sure when it would return to earth. That ultimately occurred with a crash, reported Simple Flying, after the high-altitude platform system (HAPS) dropped contact with controllers and plunged into the Arizona desert on August 19.
Read more: US Army Zephyr UAV test flight continues shattering endurance records
Though heroic in performing far…