The UK Ministry of Defense announced a six-month solar-powered aircraft that could navigate the stratosphere. The machine could be used for internet connectivity and military purposes. The Ministry of Defense has signed a contract with Airbus to deliver the aircraft. The company has already carried out two 18-day flights. Airbus argues that the plane can spend up to six months in the air.
The Zephyr resembles an unmanned glider. It is equipped with two small propellers. It moves in the stratosphere - higher than airplanes, but lower than satellites. Airbus is confident that it will be able to connect with the Internet to billions of people around the world.
Our ambition is for the machine to stay in the air for up to six months
told PA Agency Jana Rosenmann, head of unmanned aerial systems at Airbus.
Our batteries work really well. I think now we are sure that they will last three months and I would say six months will not be a problem. Have we proven it operationally? No, not yet. But all the steps we took in our lab tests clearly show that we are on the right track, Rosenmann explained.