[h3] Solar plane en route to everlasting flight [/h3]
A solar-powered plane has beaten the record for the longest uncrewed flight, UK defence research company QinetiQ claims. In a secretive weekend mission, their craft Zephyr took off from a US military base in New Mexico and landed 54 hours later.
Unfortunately, QinetiQ's test was kept secret even from the official record keepers, the International Aeronautics Federation. So Zephyr's place in the history books is not assured yet.
Zephyr is an 18-metre carbon-fibre wing, with two propellers and a lightweight tail attached. Paper-thin solar panels cover its surface. They power the props and charge the lithium-sulphur batteries that carried it through two successive nights.
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