A UK-based company constructed solar-powered plane which made up a new world endurance record. The test carried out was not official one. It was a flight of unmanned (remotely controlled) aircraft.
The Zephyr-6 remained up in the air for more than 72 hours. At night it got power from the batteries which were recharged daytime in the light of the sun. The flight was a presentation for the US military.
It was a Try to discover new forms of technology which could be used to back up the troops on the land. Craft like Zephyr may build ultimate standard of perfection programs for reconnaissance. They could also be used to convey information in the battlefield.
Chris Kelleher who is working in UK defense and research company QinetiQ told some useful facts about that. He said that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is very much advantageous as compared to conventional aircraft and even satellites. The biggest advantage is perseveration. It means that you would be there all the time.
The latest experiment was carried out at the US Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The Zephyr made a flight for 82 hours, 37 minutes; it was continuous flight. This flight breaks the previous official world record for remote-controlled flight. That record was built by the US robot plane Global Hawk. It flew continuously for 30 hours and 24 minutes.
It also broke its own previous best of 54 hours. That record was made by Zephyr last year. However, the Yuma labeled it as an unofficial. The reason is that QinetiQ did not engage the FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) as a participant in the whole activity. FAI is the world air sports federation, which approves all record efforts. The US Department of Defense financed the presentation flight. It was a part of their Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) programme.
This programme is designed to encourage the technologies which the American commanders wanted to have with them in the field. Mr. Kelleher said that we believe Zephyr is very close to be used practically in field. It will take maximum of two years to get what we are proposing for.