Solar plane prepares for Amazon mission

Student engineers from ETH Zurich are preparing to fly their world-record breaking solar plane over the Amazon rainforest.

The team is fitting its AtlantikSolar unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for a 400 kilometer, 12 hour, flight as it seeks to push the endurance limits of solar planes.

The fixed-wing 6.8 kilogram AtlantikSolar will be fitted with a variety of cameras and atmospheric sensors.

AtlantikSolar’s most recent landmark was achieved while carrying no payload this July. The team broke the flight endurance world record for any aircraft below 50 kilograms by flying continuously on solar powered batteries for 81.5 hours (over four days and three nights) in Zurich.

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