Tom Keighley

Leading UK aircraft technology shortlisted for top engineering and technology award

Hampshire based defence technology specialists QinetiQ, have announced that their Zephyr unmanned aircraft has been shortlisted for a top engineering award.

The High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) aircraft will feature in this year’s Engineering and Technology Innovation (IET) Awards, which celebrates the best in innovation leaders.

Combining years of work and technical expertise, the Zephyr is a flagship, UK developed technology, which has already achieved a world record for flight endurance.

Using solar power and cutting edge rechargeable batteries, the aircraft last year set a world record for flight endurance of over two weeks.

It can soar to altitudes in excess of 70,000 ft and is capable of hosting commercial communications and remote camera payloads for months at a time.

The Zephyr’s impressive credentials promise formidable advantages in defence and security roles, including communications relay, missile detection, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and maritime patrol.

Neville Salkeld, managing director of technology solutions group at QinetiQ, said: “We feel very honoured to have reached this stage of the IET Innovation Awards process, which in itself is testament to the commitment, specialist know-how and expertise of the whole Zephyr team, based at QinetiQ Farnborough.

“We continue to see significant interest for the proven Zephyr platform in a wide range of markets where its continual operation and low cost provide a compelling business case.”

QinetiQ will face tough competition at the awards, as they are shortlisted alongside other innovations from the likes of Network Rail, the University of Manchester, and BAE Systems.

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