by Richard Tomkins
Toulouse, France (UPI) Feb 18, 2016
Airbus Defense and Space has received an order from Britain's Ministry of Defense for its solar-powered Zephyr 8 unmanned aerial vehicle.
The Zephyr 8, described by Airbus as a high-altitude pseudo-satellite craft that provides persistent surveillance and communications links for about a month at a time before it needs to land for refurbishment.
Its altitude ceiling is about 65,000 feet. Its wing span is about 72 feet, and it weighs about 30 percent less than its predecessor, the Zephyr 7.
Solar panels on the aircraft charge its batteries from sunlight during the day and maintain the aircraft's high altitude at night.
Airbus said Britain ordered two of the aircraft. Other contract details were not disclosed.
The first Zephyr 8 ordered is being built at an Airbus facility in England and is due to fly in mid-2017.
Russian Helicopters tests unmanned tiltrotor aircraft
The aircraft was made by VR-Technologies, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. The company says government agencies and oil and gas companies have showed interest in the project.
"The development of the unique aircraft started in 2015," VR-Technologies CEO Alexander Okhonko said. "Since then, we have achieved significant results and have already started the first stage of flight tests."
Russian Helicopters first revealed the tiltrotor unmanned aerial vehicle project during the MAKS International Air Show in August 2015. The product will be able to make vertical takeoffs and landings while carrying passengers or cargo at faster speeds than traditional helicopters.
The flight test was conducted as part of Russian Helicopters' adopted Speed program, which aims to create a flying test bed to better determine design layout efficiencies for products.
UAV News - Suppliers and Technology
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|