DARPA discloses endurance record for diesel-powered UAV | IHS Jane's 360: The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced on 4 January a world-record breaking endurance flight for a diesel-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), with a nearly 56-hour sortie flown by a craft built by Vanilla Aircraft of Falls Church, Virginia.
The flight of aircraft VA001 began on 30 November 2016 at New Mexico State University's Unmanned Air Systems Flight Test Center near Las Cruces International Airport, and saw the UAV fly at an altitude of between 6,500 ft and 7,500 ft and averaging 57 kt before landing on the afternoon of 2 December.
A representative from the National Aeronautic Association - the organisation that verifies and tracks flight-related world records - certified the flight as achieving the world duration record for combustion-powered UAVs in the 50-500 kg subclass (FAI Class U-1.c Group 1). Moreover, the flight was the fourth-longest for any unmanned aircraft and the 11th-longest for an aircraft of any type (manned or unmanned, solar or fuel-powered).
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