The perpetual flying high-altitude drone Zephyr claimed to break all records as the longest flying drone was lost over Arizona on the 19th of August. The infamous solar-powered drone was followed by an extended flight that lasted 64 days and broke all records of being the longest flight ever.
On the 19th of August, the ground controllers of the Airbus Zephyr drone lost contact with the vessel. Previously, the Airbus Defense and Space Team had flown drones that lasted for a maximum of two weeks. Despite the loss of the aircraft, critical data was gathered by the US Army during the time of its flight as the collected information will help the military to conduct its high-altitude operational goals.
The series of aircraft was tested for multiple years and the current model was the newest addition in its class named Zephyr 8. The drone flew under the call sign of ZULU82 at an altitude of 60 to 70,000 where it had spent most of the time flying in the southwestern part of the US for two months approximately. On the final day of its operations, Zephyr 8 was found tracking the area over Arizona, the area between Phoenix and Mexicali. The aircraft was found flying slightly lower than the elevation of 45,000-50,000 feet which completed the S-shaped maneuver at 50 to 60 knots. However, something went drastically wrong at that moment and the ADS-B noticed a sudden vertical descent of the aircraft at a rapid rate. Unfortunately, the Zephyr met an unglamorous end.
The Zephyr drone not only could fly at higher altitudes but its cloud also keep flying in the sky for a long all thanks to its use of solar power. Flying in the stratosphere helped the aircraft to remain above the terrestrial weather. This helps it to receive uninterrupted radiation from the Sun. As per reports, the 82-feet long Zephyr weighs only 166 pounds and has set the record as the longest unmanned flight that could reach an altitude of 76,100 feet.