When the General Atomics Predator unmanned aircraft was introduced in 1995, its 24-hr. endurance was game-changing for the military. Now developers are pushing state of the art in aerodynamics and propulsion to achieve far longer flight times with far smaller vehicles. In early October, Aerovel’s Flexrotor long-endurance vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft completed a 32-hr. 8-min. flight, landing with more than 3 hr. worth of fuel remaining. Vanilla Aircraft, ...

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