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The longest passenger flight is a whopping 19-hour service on Singapore Airlines between Singapore and Newark, but how about a non-stop flight lasting and entire year? British aerospace company Prismatic is now working on a solar-powered drone that can stay airborne for an entire year without any need for maintenance.

However, the Persistent High Altitude Solar Aircraft – or PHASA-35 for short – is not for passengers. In fact, it can only carry a payload of 15kg, but it has the potential to replace satellites for communications in off-grid areas, for remote sensing, Earth observations, and surveillance of all kinds, including military.

It’s the most advanced of a new class of autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – better known as drones – and it should be ready for tests in 2019.

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