On August 21, 1998, a Phase 1 Aerosonde nicknamed "Laima", after the ancient Latvian deity of good fortune, completed a 2,031 mile (3,270 km) flight across the Atlantic Ocean. This was the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by a UAV; at the time, it was also the smallest aircraft ever to cross the Atlantic. (The smallest aircraft record was subsequently broken by the Spirit of Butts Farm UAV.) Launched from a roof rack of a moving car due to its lack of undercarriage, Laima flew from Newfoundland, Canada to Benbecula, an island off the coast of Scotland in 26 hours 45 minutes in stormy weather, using approximately 1.5 U.S. gallons (1.25 imperial gallons or 5.7 litres) of gasoline (petrol). Other than for take-off and landing, the flight was autonomous, without external control, at an altitude of 5,500 ft (1,680 meters). Aerosondes have also been the first unmanned aircraft to penetrate tropical cyclones, with an initial mission in 2001 followed by eye penetrations in 2005
The Aereosonde Mark 4.4 has been designated XMQ-19A by the U.S. military.
G.J. Holland, T. McGeer and H.H. Youngren. Autonomous aerosondes for economical atmospheric soundings anywhere on the globe. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 73(12):1987-1999, December 1992.