|Zephyr S taking off - Airbus|
Airbus has developed an unmanned drone for surveillance and communications. As you can see from the picture the thing is big, the wingspan is 92 feet. Thanks to modern materials it only weighs 150 pounds, and 50 of those are the battery pact. Yes, it's electric powered.
Okay, that's all very cute, but what rates a mention here on this super exclusive blog is it's capabilities. It just completed two flights of 18 days each flying over Arizona at an altitude of 76,000 feet. That's U-2 territory.
The Perlan glider also reached an altitude of 76,000 feet, but they had to go to Argentina where they could catch a lift from the winds over the Andes mountains.
This drone looks to fill the same role as the balloons in Project Loon.