DRYDEN FLIGHT RESEARCH CENTER PHOTO COLLECTION / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DRYDEN FLIGHT RESEARCH CENTER PHOTO COLLECTION / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Helios over the Pacific Ocean during its first test flight on solar power on 14th July 2001. This is a solar-powered, unmanned, all-wing aircraft. The photovoltaic (solar) cells on the upper surface of its wing power electric motors, which turn the propellers (yellow and black). The aircraft has a 75 metre wingspan, longer than that of a Boeing 747. Helios is a prototype for an aircraft that could stay in-flight indefinitely carrying out scientific research and surveillance.
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