Airbus Solar Powered Aircraft Can Fly for 18 Days And Replace 250 Cell Towers

The Airbus Zephyr is the world’s leading solar-electric stratospheric Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), with a wingspan of 25 meters and it weighs less than 75kg.

The first stratospheric UAS of its kind, Zephyr provides a persistent and adaptable solution, unlike other unmanned aircraft. Its persistence enables a capability of flying continuously for months at a time, at around 70,000ft, above weather and conventional air traffic. It is a HAPS: a High Altitude Platform Station, and is the only HAPS to have demonstrated day/night longevity in the stratosphere.

Around four billion people across the globe are unconnected. The Zephyr is capable of extending reach and/or capacity of terrestrial networks. One Zephyr has coverage equivalent to 250 cell towers.

Zephyr has the potential to provide communications to the most unconnected parts of the world. No other aerial solution offers direct to device 4G/5G on a persistent day and night basis, complementary to existing infrastructure.

Zephyr has flown six times so far, with four low-level test flights and two stratospheric flights. The stratospheric flights flew for around 18 days each, totalling more than 36 days of continuous flight from only two take-offs.