Weighing just 475 lb. when it took off five days earlier, Vanilla Aircraft’s VA001 unmanned aircraft landed back at NASA Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia coast just ahead of an approaching storm on Oct. 23, having stayed aloft for 121.4 hr. Since the human was first removed from the cockpit, a key benefit of unmanned aircraft has been endurance. Developers had pushed the boundaries of low-drag aerodynamics, efficient propulsion and lightweight structures and systems to ...

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