The UK-built Zephyr unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) took its place in history by becoming the first aircraft to stay afloat for 336 hours and 24 minutes. The Zephyr landed safely after its British developers decided nothing would be proved by keeping it in the air any longer.
The Zephyr was built by controversial UK defence boffinry selloff bonanza company Qinetiq. It is intended for development into a military platform able to cruise above a battlefield or other area of interest for weeks or months on end, providing such services as surveillance or communications relay.
The plane is powered during the day by paper-thin solar panels on its wings and at night by lightweight batteries re-charged each day. It broke all endurance records for an unpiloted vehicle before it landed on Friday.