Solar plane completes week of non-stop flight

19 Jul 2010
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Solar power

More than a week of non-stop flight has now been completed by the Zephyr plane - which runs on solar power - breaking a world record.

Although the plane had already beaten the previous milestone of 30 hours, no officials were present to view it.

However, the Zephyr's latest voyage is being monitored by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, which means a new world record has been set by the plane, which will stay in the air for a further week to complete the test run.

Project manager Jon Saltmarsh stated that in order to launch the aircraft, five people lifted it above their heads and set off running, with the plane then lifting away into the sky.

"This is a huge milestone that puts us at the leading edge," he told BBC News. "It's a practical system that can actually be used rather than simply a demonstration of small technical achievements."

The Zephyr's record is the latest development in solar-powered aircraft this year, after Andre Borschberg piloted a Solar Impulse plane for 26 hours.

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