The UAV Factory Penguin B has demonstrated over 54h in the air, greatly exceeding the previous flight duration record for small unmanned air vehicles.
The Penguin B was launched from a car launcher and carried 13kg (29lb) of fuel and oil, for a total takeoff weight of 22.3kg.
The previous record holder was AAI’s Aerosonde, which remained airborne for 38h. The Penguin B is normally intended for 20h of flight time carrying a 10kg payload. According to UAV Factory (H3/D18a), temperatures exceeded 30˚C and wind velocity was above 20m/s.
In this instance, the aircraft was belly-landed, but Penguin B normally carries robust tricycle landing gear for rough field landings. The aircraft was launched from a catapult mounted atop a vehicle for moving takeoffs. Other methods include a static catapult launcher.