Ru­tan’s Pro­teus logs 1,000th flight

Pilot - - NOTES -

The Scaled Model 281 Pro­teus, re­cently com­pleted its 1,000th flight, flown by Scaled’s test pi­lot Clint Ni­chols, with project engi­neer Sam Hen­ney in the right-hand seat. Pro­teus was de­signed by Burt Ru­tan and first flew on 26 July 1998. Its orig­i­nal mis­sion was to test the air­craft as a high al­ti­tude ‘com­mu­ni­ca­tions satel­lite’ – the first at­tempt at de­liv­er­ing a broad­band in­ter­net con­nec­tion to the masses, twenty years ago. It proved to be a very ver­sa­tile high al­ti­tude, long en­durance re­search plat­form and has logged more than 4,000 hours on mis­sions for many pro­grammes.

Weird, yes: but like so many Ru­tan de­signs, rather won­der­ful

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