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View Full Version : Discussion: Final Helios Report Released



Fraser
2004-Sep-07, 06:48 PM
SUMMARY: The board inquiring into the loss of the remotely-operated Helios aircraft released its final report on Friday. Helios was a solar-powered aircraft, capable of flying higher than any conventional plane. During a test flight in June, 2003, the aircraft took off from the island of Kauai and flew out over the Pacific Ocean. About 30 minutes into its flight, turbulence caused Helios to become unstable, with its wings bending more than it was designed for. Shortly after that, the upper surface of the wing ripped off, and it plunged into the ocean. The board determined that NASA lacked the analysis tools to predict how turbulence could affect the plane in all conditions.

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antoniseb
2004-Sep-07, 06:56 PM
Helios is an interesting idea. The image certainly makes it look fragile. The importance of Helios is that it could be used to fly above cities to provide a broad area of various kinds of high-speed telecommunications over a fairly broad area without needing satelites or numerous microwave towers.

Another competing idea for this is the pressurized pumpkin helium balloon, which doesn't look as fragile, but is probably trickier to get to stay over one place.

I hope they one of these solutions working soon.

StarLab
2004-Sep-07, 07:40 PM
The image certainly makes it look fragile.
No, it's the agency that looks after it that is fragile! :angry:

John L
2004-Sep-07, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by antoniseb@Sep 7 2004, 01:56 PM
Helios is an interesting idea. The image certainly makes it look fragile. The importance of Helios is that it could be used to fly above cities to provide a broad area of various kinds of high-speed telecommunications over a fairly broad area without needing satelites or numerous microwave towers.

Another competing idea for this is the pressurized pumpkin helium balloon, which doesn't look as fragile, but is probably trickier to get to stay over one place.

I hope they one of these solutions working soon.
I thought a Zepplin style rigid airship would provide a better platform for what you're talking about. Since it controlable it should be able to maintain a steady position over a city and it's surface area could support a large array of communications gear.

jamie carver
2004-Sep-08, 08:09 PM
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