is a lightweight solar-powered UAV
which was originally designed and built by the QQ1 "Edge of Space" team who were sponsored by the United Kingdom
defence firm, Qinetiq
. It is of carbon-fibre
construction, and uses sunlight to charge a lithium sulphur battery
during the day, which powers the aircraft at night. The aircraft has been designed for use in observation and communications relay.
The Zephyr holds the official endurance record for an unmanned aerial vehicle for its flight from 9 July to 23 July 2010, lasting 336 hours and 22 minutes (2 weeks / 14 days).
Record claims have been verified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale
for both duration and altitude, at 21,562 meters.
In a 2008 demonstration for the US military, a smaller-scale version of the Zephyr performed beyond the official world record for the longest-duration unmanned flight, however its 82-hour flight at an altitude of 61,000 feet did not set an official record because FAI
officials were not involved in the flight.<ref... Read More