A solar plane that flew without a human to control it stayed aloft for 54 hours. That’s right a plane that relies on energy from the sun continued to operate overnight. The plane, the QinetiQ’s Zephyr, broke the previous record for a solar plane staying the air.
The Zephyr, developed by UK based QinetiQ, is a lightweight unmmaned aircraft which uses a combination of a solar array and batteries to power its flights. The plane weights a relatively low 31kg and has a wingspan of about 16 metres. The total flight lasted for a total of 54 hours, which, if you do the math, is a very impressive number for a solar powered vehicle. The Zephyr went for two straight nights without stopping or refueling relying on its solar powered batteries for flying. It made it all the way up to 18,000 meters (58,000 ft).