When Airbus’ Zephyr S landed on Aug. 5, after 25 days, 23 hr. and 57 min. aloft over the Arizona desert, the solar-powered, high-altitude unmanned aircraft had set unofficial world records for flight duration and sustained altitude. The production aircraft’s maiden flight, launched on July 11 from Yuma Proving Ground, soundly beat the existing endurance record of just over 14 days set by the Zephyr 7 prototype at the same location in 2010. The aircraft also set an altitude ...

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