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Helios aircraft released its final report on Friday.


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Helios aircraft.
Helios aircraft released its final report on Friday.

Final Helios aircraft Report Released.

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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