A UK-built, solar-powered aircraft recently set an unofficial world record for unmanned flight. The Zephyr-6 stayed in the air, non-stop for just over 82 hours. The Zephyr is made of a lightweight carbon-fiber material and its solar panels are as thin as a sheet of paper. It’s run by pure sun power during the day which charges lithium-sulphur batteries for use during the nighttime. Looking like a huge model airplane, the aircraft is launched by hand and controlled by remote once it’s in the air. Future models are hoped to be able to carry a payload weighing 1,000lb. Very nice indeed. This could be a whole new (cheap, sustainable) way to ship cargo around the world. And who knows, maybe someday, transport people too.

This content is available for Basic Members.
Already a member, log in