The record 96,863-foot altitude flight achieved by the
NASA/AeroVironment Helios Prototype on Aug. 13, 2001, has been named
one of the six Most Memorable Aviation Records of 2001 by the
National Aeronautic Association.

The remotely piloted, solar-powered Helios achieved flight
higher than any other non-rocket powered aircraft, providing
experience for future long-loiter solar aircraft, as well as offering
a glimpse of aerodynamics in the lower Martian atmosphere, which the
Earth’s rarefied air mimics at that altitude.

The 247-foot Helios flying wing was built by AeroVironment,
Inc., of Monrovia, Calif., as part of NASA’s Environmental Research
and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program at the Dryden Flight Research
Center, Edwards, Calif. Helios-type aircraft could one day act as
stratospheric platforms using solar and regenerative power to fly for
extended periods while providing low cost telecommunications relay
services or environmental monitoring.

The record flight was flown from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific
Missile Range Facility on Kauai.

For further information contact Alan Brown at Dryden public
affairs, (661) 276-2665.