QinetiQ claims they have broken this record, by using a really light plane built of carbon fiber, powered by solar panels, nicknamed “Zephyr”. The aircraft stayed in the air for 83 hours and 37 minutes, which is more than twice the previous record.
Zephyr also broke the previous record by approximately 54 hours, but that attempt remaine unofficial, which is probably what will happen to this attempt too, because they didn’t meet the criteria set by the world air sports federation.
But that doesn’t seem to affect them too much, because they were more interested in something else.
“We were concentrating more on the flight than the record,” he said.
The performance they achieved is definitely worth noting and there’s a big chance they will achieve an even better time.
The plane weighs 30 kilograms, it is directed by auto pilot, and it reached an altitude of more 60,000 feet (18,000 meters). During the day it got the energy form the sun, and at night they used some rechargeable lithium-sulphur batteries. This technology could be very useful in reconnaissance and communications.