New Solar Plane Breaks Unmanned Plane Record

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London – An unmanned solar-powered aircraft that soared for 54 hours more than 50,000 feet above New Mexico may hold the record for unmanned flight, defense research company QinetiQ announced Monday.

The record is currently 30 hours, 24 minutes in a flight on July 23, the company said.

The plane, the Zephyr UAV, may not hold the official record because officials did not see the actual flight.

The aircraft is launched by hand and is built from ultra-thin carbon fibers.

Potential applications for Zephyr include earth observation and communications relay in support of a range of defense, security and civil requirements, the company said.

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