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Solar-powered plane breaks unmanned flight record

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According to a BBC report today, a UK defense firm called Qinetiq has developed and tested a lightweight, solar-powered plane which has just broken the world record for longest unmanned flight. The plane, known as the Zephyr, spent 54 hours in flight using only self-recharging solar power, thus breaking the 30-plus-hour flight of the previous record holder, the US Air Force's Global Hawk surveillance craft. Although the record has been smashed, the plane won't be eligible for entrance into the "official" record books due to a late announcement of the feat, though another 33-hour flight might make the cut. The plane -- which has a wingspan of 59-feet -- is controlled from the ground after a hand liftoff, and is capable of cruising at 58,000 feet. According to the designers, the Zephyr is, "Going to go a lot higher and a lot further," and added that, "You ain't seen nothing yet." Indeed, ICEMAN, indeed.

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