Airbus’ Solar Drone – level 3

24-07-2018 07:00

Airbus opened a production facility for its solar-powered unmanned Zephyr aircraft which will be flying in altitudes of 18–21 kilometres above the ground.

Zephyr is a High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) which fills the gap between satellites and UAVs. It will fly in the stratosphere above the weather and conventional air traffic, harnessing solar energy and able to fly for months at a time.

Airbus says that the aircraft will revolutionise defence, humanitarian and environmental missions all over the world. However, with the facility being able to produce only up to 30 aircraft a year, the project is at its beginning.

The smaller production model has a wingspan of 25 metres and weighs less than 75 kg. It is able to provide the Internet, radar, and take pictures and video – from the 18-to-21-kilometre height, it will be able to see objects as small as 15 centimetres.

Difficult words: altitude (a height), UAV (an unmanned aerial vehicle), stratosphere (the lowest level of the atmosphere), harness (make use of).

You can watch the video news lower on this page.

What do you think about this news?


News in Levels is designed to teach you 3000 words in English. Please follow the instructions

How to improve your English with News in Levels: 


  1. Do the test at Test Languages.
  2. Go to your level. Go to Level 1 if you know 1-1000 words. Go to Level 2 if you know 1000-2000 words. Go to Level 3 if you know 2000-3000 words.


  1. Read two news articles every day.
  2. Read the news articles from the day before and check if you remember all new words.


  1. Listen to the news from today and read the text at the same time.
  2. Listen to the news from today without reading the text.


  1. Answer the question under today’s news and write the answer in the comments.


  1. Choose one person from the Skype section.
  2. Talk with this person. You can answer questions from Speak in Levels.


Stock images by Depositphotos