Hydrogen-powered Helios UAV - Take Two

Posted 26 Jun 2003 at 17:09 UTC by steve Share This

Earlier this month we reported on NASA's first attempt to test their solar-electric Helios UAV with a regenerative hydrogen fuel cell system for night flight. During the first flight, the Helios was aloft for 15 hours at 52,000 feet powered by it's 62,000 solar cells but the fuel cell system could not be brought online due to a coolant leak. A second flight is planned for today. The eventual goal is to develop a robot plane that can fly perpetually during night and day. For photos of the Helios including the first fuel cell test flight and previous record-setting flights, see the Dryden Helios Photo Gallery.

Helios Crashed :-(, posted 27 Jun 2003 at 01:28 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

It looks like the Hel ios crashed today. :-(

NASA Official Statement, posted 27 Jun 2003 at 02:46 UTC by steve » (Master)

The NASA Dryden Research Center released this statement this afternoon:

The remotely operated Helios Prototype aircraft, a proof-of-concept solar-electric flying wing designed to operate at extremely high altitudes for long duration, was destroyed when it crashed today during a checkout flight from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
There was no property damage or injuries on the ground resulting from the accident. The remotely piloted aircraft came down within the confines of the PMRF test range over the Pacific Ocean west of the facility. Cause of the mishap is not yet known.

sad day, posted 27 Jun 2003 at 19:00 UTC by Delirious » (Journeyer)

This is very sad news to hear. I have always been fascinated with this project.

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