This February, we’re celebrating the Scaled Composites Model 281 Proteus – a tandem-wing, high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft designed to conduct multi-mission operations.
Its abilities include carrying payloads up to 907 kilograms (2,000 pounds) at altitudes of 15,240 meters (50,000 feet) and greater for 14 hours of flight time.
It can also carry heavier payloads for shorter durations.
The craft was also designed to perform telecommunications, reconnaissance, atmospheric research, commercial imaging, and space launch missions.
Its maiden flight was on July 26, 1998.