Solar aircraft could act as telecoms relay, Professional Engineering, 25 July 2001, p 13] and [Aerospace International, August 2001, p 13

In US, the unmanned NASA/AeroVironment solar-powered Helios aircraft completed its first flight of 18 hours duration at 22 800 m altitude with a top speed of 200 mi/h (320 km/h). An altitude of 30 000 m is planned, representing a record for a propeller-driven aircraft. The 14 propellers are driven by 62 000 solar cells generating 40 kW. Since only 10 kW of power are required for flight, additional fuel cells planned for 2003 would permit energy storage so that the aircraft could fly at night, with an endurance measured in months.

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