An example of solar-powered flight, NASA's Helios
aircraft flew almost
one hundred years after the Wright brothers'
historic flight on December 17, 1903.
Pictured here at 10,000 feet in
in skies northwest of Kauai, Hawaii in August 2001,
the remotely piloted Helios is traveling at about 25 miles per hour.
Essentially an ultralight flying wing
with 14 electric
motors, the aircraft was built by
Covered with solar cells, Helios' impressive 247 foot wide wing
exceeded the wing span and even overall length of a
Climbing during daylight hours,
the prototype aircraftultimately
reached an altitude just short of 100,000 feet,
breaking records for non-rocket
Helios was intended as a technology demonstrator, but
in the extremely thin air 100,000 feet above Earth's surface, the flight
of Helios also
flight in the