The Strangest Airplanes To Have Ever Been Built

Scaled Composites Proteus

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Scaled Composites’ aircraft is named after the mythological Greek god – Proteus. The aircraft flew for the first time publically in 1998. The Proteus is an aircraft that adapts to a variety of missions. The Proteus is a high-altitude telecommunication relay aircraft with abilities including atmospheric research, commercial imaging, and surveillance.

The Proteus contained either two pilots in a pressurized cabin or remotely controlled from the ground. In 1999, NASA’s Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology program welcomed the Proteus. This NASA initiative utilized remotely operated unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) technologies for civil use. In 2000, the Proteus set three world records:

  1. reached an altitude of 63,245 feet,
  2. continued horizontal flight for 62,385 feet,
  3. carried a 2,200 lb payload to an altitude of 55,994 feet.