QinetiQ Says Its Long-Legged Zephyr UAV Set Unofficial Endurance Record | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 08.20.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 08.20.14 **
** Airborne 08.18.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 08.18.14 **
** Airborne 08.15.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 08.15.14 **

Mon, Sep 10, 2007

QinetiQ Says Its Long-Legged Zephyr UAV Set Unofficial Endurance Record

But Record May Not Stick Without FAI Approval

QinetiQ tells ANN its Zephyr High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) recently exceeded the official world record time for the longest duration unmanned flight, with a 54 hour flight achieved during trials at the US Military's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The flight trials were funded through the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense (MOD) research program.

The duration of the flight exceeded the current official FAI world record for unmanned flight which stands at 30 hours 24 minutes set by Northrop Grumman's RQ-4A Global Hawk on March 22, 2001. As there was no FAI official present at White Sands, however, it may not stand as an official world record.

Launched by hand, Zephyr is an ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber aircraft with a wingspan of up to 18 meters, but weighing just 30 kg. By day it flies on solar power generated by amorphous silicon arrays no thicker than sheets of paper that cover the aircraft's wings. By night it is powered by rechargeable lithium-sulphur batteries that are recharged during the day using solar power.

QinteiQ says the trials validated recent modifications that have improved the efficiency of Zephyr's power system. These have included new solar arrays supplied by United Solar Ovonic, a full flight-set of Sion Power batteries as well as a novel solar-charger and bespoke autopilot developed by QinetiQ, all of which were being flown for the first time. During the trials the same aircraft was flown twice while carrying a surveillance payload - first for 54 hours to a maximum altitude of 58,355 feet, and then for 33 hours 43 minutes to a maximum altitude of 52,247 feet.

"The possibilities suggested by unmanned flight are truly exciting and with these trials Zephyr has secured its place in the history of UAV development," said Paul Davey, Zephyr business development director at QinetiQ. "Both flights were achieved in the face of thunderstorms and debilitating heat in the hostile environment of the New Mexico high desert in the summertime. They have proved that an autonomous UAV can be operated on solar-electric power for the duration required to support persistent military operations."

FMI: www.qinetiq.com

Advertisement

More News

Barnstorming: Time Flies...

In Fond Remembrance Of My Dear Vicki, Five Years Since Her Loss Hi Folks... In the last five years, you and I have been through a lot. We've watched the fortunes of the aviation wo>[...]

Aero-TV: Honoring Our Legacy - Recrafting Paul’s Game-Changing Baby Ace

A Bit Of History Lovingly Restored To The Sport Aviation World ANN's Michael Maya Charles had to search around at EAA AirVenture 2014 to find this story. The Aeroplane Factory buil>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (08.22.14)

International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians The International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians (IFFR) is a group of Rotarians dedicated to promoting Rotary and aviation as an opport>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (08.22.14): Feeder Facilities

Used by ATC to direct aircraft to intervening fixes between the en route structure and the initial approach fix.>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (08.22.14)

"We pause to remember the life and legacy of an American hero. Bernie's life is an inspiration to those who met him and to all Airmen who will continue to hear his story. Source: C>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC