According to a report from The Drive, Airbus is doing a very high-altitude flight of its uncrewed Zephyr S solar-powered jet.
It's been more than 17 days since the plane arrived.
The Zephyr S, which has been described as a drone and a pseudo-satellite, flew from the US Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona in June. It was designed to be airborne for extended periods, thus serving as a sensor platform for the military.
Meet the Zephyr S.
After it began flying from a runway at Yuma Proving Ground on June 15, it was discovered on online flight tracking software. The aircraft has since flown several flights over the Yuma Test Range and the Kofa National Wildfire Refuge.
Airbus has been conducting Zephyr S test flights over the area for some time, but according to flight tracking data, the drone has begun also conducting flights to the southeast near Arizona's border and the southwest toward the Gulf of Mexico.
Zephyr S flew over the Gulf of Mexico on June 27, then over the Caribbean Sea and onto the Belize-Caribbean area. Last week, the jet turned back toward the United States.
A world-record-breaking 'pseudo satellite'
When the Zephyr S first flew in 2018, it remained in the skies for around 26 days. It is yet to be seen whether the new flight will last longer than that world-record milestone.
The most recent flight tests, according to a spokesperson for the APNT/Space CFT office, which is part of the Army Futures Command, are "designed to test the UAV's energy storage capacity, battery longevity, solar panel efficiency, and station-keeping capabilities."
Airbus stated in a statement that Zephyr would "assert commercial and military customers new see, sense, and connect capabilities." This includes monitoring the spread of wildfires or oil spills. It also monitors the world's changing environmental landscape and will be able to connect the most unconnected parts of the world."
The Zephyr S has a wingspan of 82 feet (25 meters) and a small fuselage to make it as maneuverable as possible in high-altitude flight. It is light enough to be hand-launched by a group of individuals. It can reach an altitude of 76,100 feet (23,200 meters).