‘Satellites without wings’: drones reach loftier heights

World

‘Satellites without wings’: drones reach loftier heights

Because of their lower costs and greater flexibility, the use of drones as satellites is on the cards

Alan Tovey

Short-haul it most certainly is not. Defence giant BAE Systems proudly boasted about the maiden flight of its Phasa-35 drone last week, flagging the prospect of the high-altitude solar-powered craft eventually staying aloft for a year.

Admittedly, its first flight at an Australian test centre was considerably shorter and lower.

“It lasted about an hour,” says Ian Muldowney, engineering director at BAE. “It was about testing that it flew.”..

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