Airbus's Zephyr S drones sets endurance record to satellite contender

Tinuku - Zephyr S drone may be satellite contender as Airbus sets endurance record. A drone has set an endurance record that has made headlines, specifically the Engineer and other sites reported it was in the air for 25 days, 23 hours and 57 minutes. The UK-built pilotless drone took off from Arizona and safely landed.

Reports said the flight broke a previous endurance record of 14 days. This is the Airbus SE's Zephyr spy drone, its first production version. Zephyr is a High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) and operates in the stratosphere or the second layer of the atmosphere as you go upward.

Tinuku Airbus's Zephyr S drones sets endurance record to satellite contender

The Zephyr operates at an altitude above the planet's weather systems where only the Concorde, the U2 spy plane and Mach 3 SR-71 Blackbird previously flew. Other than setting an endurance record, the talking points of this drone center around its being a less a less costly alternative to conventional satellites and more nimble.

The key words are satellite, it fulfills the role of the satellite. The pseudo word is apt, in staying aloft to work like a satellite. Solar-powered aircraft of this sort can compete with satellites in the markets for Earth observation and telecommunications.

"The first unmanned aircraft of its kind to fly in the stratosphere. As for solar features, above the weather and conventional air traffic. It is a HAPS: a High Altitude Pseudo Satellite," Airbus said.

A popular talking point has been its light weight 75 kilos (165 pounds). It has a 25-meter wingspan (82 feet). The Engineer said the carbon fibers for its construction were thinner than a human hair. The construction was so light, that it can be hand-launched by three people. The company made note of "flexibility" in this regard. Zephyr's launch requirements are simple compared to traditional aviation. No runway and no airport.