The future of spy drone tech lands after two weeks in the air

The last time we checked in with the Zephyr, an unmanned, solar-powered aircraft built in Britain, it was starting into its second week in the air. Now, the Zephyr has finally landed after a whopping two weeks of uninterrupted flight.

Qinetiq, the company behind the Zephyr, had the craft fly continuously for two weeks above a US Army base. That's mostly what the Zephyr is designed for: to be able to fly for a long, long time over a military target and provide valuable assistance. That's exactly what it did, soaring for 336 hours and 24 minutes.

Much like the Solar Impulse, the Zephyr stores energy during the day to keep it flying at night. During the 14-day flight, the Zephyr enjoyed clear skies, though it'd still have to operate at a lower altitude when running on reserve power.

The continuous 14-day effort completely shatters quite a few efforts, including the longest uninterrupted flight by a drone (previously set by Northrop Grumman's RQ-4A Global Hawk in 2001 for just over 30 hours of flight) and the record for a manned, non-stop flight back in 1986, when Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager stayed in the air for nine days and went around the world.

Via BBC News and CrunchGear

For the latest tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @dvice