Years ago, while Maynard was setting duration records, the planes had to be under manual control for the entire flight. It gets pretty tedious when durations exceed a few hours, and his record is 33 hours, 39 minutes, and 15 seconds.
Worried that the plane might go out of control if the pilot was inattentive or visibility deteriorated, Maynard and his team added an innovative feature that many of us in Radio Control can appreciate.
The airplane had special electronics which could steer the airplane towards a ham transmitter located on the ground. Thus, if the airplane wandered off, they could turn on the ham transmitter and "call" the airplane to home on it.
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