Monday, September 15, 2008

Invention Spotlight: The Solar Powered, Pilotless Plane

The UK has invented an impressive airplane that can fly by the power of the sun. According to the BBC, the solar-powered aircraft can fly anytime of the day or night- "running through the night on batteries it had charged in the sunlight."

The new solar-powered plane doesn't need to be pilot operated. It can be directed to maneuver via remote control or satellite.

The prototype plane, nicknamed The Zephyr-6, recently set an unofficial world record for being the longest flying unmanned aircraft. The Zephyr-6 reportedly flew uninterrupted for 82 hours and 37 minutes.

The BBC states that the U.S. military is looking to implement this new technology to assist their military ground troops. They are reportedly hoping to use the solar-powered plane for reconnaissance operations, and battlefield communication. There are also hopes that the solar planes will be used commercially, in the future.

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