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Airbus Spy Drone Stretches Flight
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Floating almost motionless at an altitude of 70,000 feet, Airbus SE’s Zephyr spy drone has extended the record for the longest flight within the Earth’s atmosphere to 25 days, two-thirds more than the previous best. The first production version of the solar-powered pseudo-satellite spent more than three weeks in the stratosphere on its maiden trip after taking off from Arizona on July 11, Airbus revealed Wednesday after the craft landed safely. The flight broke the previous endurance record of 14 days set by a prototype Zephyr in 2015 and was aimed at establishing the drone’s credentials as a less costly, more nimble alternative to conventional satellites. read more
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