British UAS smashes endurance record and is still going.

The Qinetiq Zephyr has been airborne for 7 days and as I write this.... 2 hours and 23 minutes. Its still flying. I believe they are going for two weeks. It took off last Friday from the Yuma testing grounds in Arizona at 1440 BST (0640 local)

Its Friday night lets all raise a glass to them!!!

Views: 406

Comment by Adrian Eves on July 16, 2010 at 9:31am
Treating myself to the nearest thing to real beer for breakfast.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on July 16, 2010 at 9:53am
Good man and congratulations to you and the others, I am having a Jamesons!! You bagged the night shifts I think, bad luck.
Comment by Grahame Algar on July 16, 2010 at 10:26am
Congratulations Guys.

I will certainly be joining in with a couple of quiet beers to toast your success and then a few more noisy ones!!

Thanks for posting Gary.

Comment by Rana on July 16, 2010 at 12:00pm
Gary, Thanks for sharing !

The Zephyr is the creation of Hampshire-based defence and research company QinetiQ.
Launched by hand, the aircraft flies by day on solar power which is then used to recharge the lithium-sulphur batteries, which are used to power the aircraft by night.
The aircraft can provide a low-cost, persistent surveillance capability over months rather than days.
Zephyr's programme director Jon Saltmarsh said: 'The team has worked tirelessly over the past few years, making truly significant leaps forward in overall design and construction - and to see it successfully soar into the sky was fantastic.
'By being able to remain over a location for weeks or months at a time, it can usefully deliver a host of practical and more affordable solutions to both civil and military customers

Around 50 per cent larger than the previous Zephyr, technical changes now mean it has a 22.5m wingspan to accommodate more batteries that are combined with a totally new integrated power management system.

Launched by hand, the aircraft flies by day on solar power delivered by amorphous silicon solar arrays no thicker than sheets of paper that cover the aircraft's wings.

These are also used to recharge the lithium-sulphur batteries which are used to power the aircraft by night.

The entirely new aerodynamic shape and high 'T' tail also contribute to reduce drag and improve performance.

Zephyr's ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre design also means it weighs in at just over 50kg.
Unlike conventional manned or unmanned
Comment by AVS on July 16, 2010 at 12:01pm
Fantastic, really brilliant
Comment by Ron Jacobs on July 16, 2010 at 12:33pm
Cool. Makes you think anything is possible. Do they have streaming video? That would be sweet.
i will toast them with a Pilsner today.
Comment by Overwatch on July 16, 2010 at 12:51pm
What's interesting is that the Zephyr uses its altitude to store energy as well. It climbs to 18 km by sunset and, after a night of semi-powered gliding, wakes up at 12 km altitude by dawn the next day.
Comment by James F. on July 16, 2010 at 1:11pm
Does anyone know what kind of payload this thing can take? Doesn't look like much...

Comment by Morli on July 16, 2010 at 1:19pm
mobile communication repeater , geo survey for disaster etc are the thoughts
Comment by Overwatch on July 16, 2010 at 1:26pm
It has to fit into 50 kg AUW (or is it 50 kilos for just the aircraft, no payload?).


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