Unmanned aircraft that can stay in the air for 90 days

The Skydweller is powered and kept aloft by a solar panel. The US Navy also sees great potential in it. Aircraft manufacturer Skydweller Aero is working on a unique device that the US-Spanish company claims could circulate in the air for up to 90 days, New Scientist reported.

Called the Skydweller, the aircraft is an unmanned aerial vehicle based on designs for the Solar Impulse 2, which is also solar-powered. This is the same machine that flew around the world in 2015 and 2016. But that plane was piloted by pilots. The Skydweller differs from the Impulse mainly in that it does not have a pilot’s seat, so there is more space for cargo. This allows the plane to carry up to 362 kilograms. The wingspan of the aircraft is 72 metres, covered by a so-called photovoltaic system. The plant can generate 2 kilowatts of energy, according to the official statement.

The US navy is also interested in the special aircraft, which would allow it to carry out longer air patrols. Soldiers are now using drones to do this, but the tiny vehicles can only fly for 30 hours and are not at all suitable for carrying cargo. The manufacturer plans to equip the Skydweller with hydrogen fuel cells so that it doesn’t have to land in bad weather.

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