Airbus' solar-powered Zephyr smashes flight duration record

Airbus announced the successful landing of its first production aircraft of the new solar powered Zephyr S HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite).

After taking off on 11th July in Arizona, USA, Airbus Defense and Space Zephyr S logged a maiden flight of over 25 days, the longest duration flight ever made.

An application has been made to establish this as a new world record. This maiden flight of the solar powered Zephyr S proves the system capabilities and achieved all the flight’s engineering objectives.

Airbus' solar-powered Zephyr smashes flight duration record (3)

The previous longest flight duration record was also logged by a Zephyr prototype aircraft a few years ago, achieving then more than 14 days continuous flight, which already was ten times longer than any other aircraft in the world.

This new record flight was supported by the UK government and reflects the UK Ministry of Defence’s position as the first customer for this innovative and potentially game changing capability.

Airbus' solar-powered Zephyr smashes flight duration record (2)

Zephyr is the world’s leading, solar–electric, stratospheric Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). It harnesses the sun’s rays, running exclusively on solar power, above the weather and conventional air traffic; filling a capability gap complimentary to satellites, UAVs and manned aircraft to provide persistent local satellite-like services.

source Airbus