The Helios was a prototype unmanned ultra-light flying wing aircraft powered through solar panels. It was built to demonstrate technologies for long-endurance, high-altitude flights for atmospheric research and communications roles. It had a wingspan of 247 ft / 75 m (27% longer than that of a Boeing 747). On August 2001, Helios set the record for highest altitude sustained horizontal flight reaching an altitude of 96,863 ft.
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