The agreement extends the Zephyr 7 program in which Sion Power batteries were employed during the night, along with solar power during the day, to achieve record-breaking flights of more than 14 days without refueling or landing. The Zephyr 7 aircraft had a wing span of 70 ft (22.5 m).
The Zephyr 8 aircraft is larger, with increased payload capacity, and will employ custom Li-S battery packs designed and assembled in Tucson Arizona, USA. The Zephyr aircraft is at the forefront of the HAPS arena, holding three world records. Zephyr aircraft have already flown in a number of different airspaces under challenging winter conditions. Airbus Defence and Space has obtained permissions to fly these aircraft in both commercial and military situations alike. No other HAPS system has as many flight hours, reliability and flexibility of operation.
The battery packs utilize Sion’s high specific energy Li-S technology and provide 350 Wh/kg, the highest available for a rechargeable battery. The Li-S battery packs are engineered to minimize total pack weight. Advanced electronic controls maintain battery conditions throughout the flights.
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