An unmanned aircraft system (UAS) called the Puma AE was recently able to fly for 9 consecutive hours and 11 minutes, significantly longer than the rest of the aircrafts of this type.
According to Green Car Congress, the Puma AE is solar-powered, and it achieved this flight length using Aerovironment’s latest “long endurance” battery. This battery enables it to fly for 3 hours without solar power.
This plane is for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). It is a 13-pound aircraft that is water-resistant, can be assembled by hand in minutes, and requires no infrastructure (for example, no runways). It is currently in the research and development phase. A production version is planned for 2014. The Puma AE has even received a permit for flight in the Arctic.