Aeronautical engineer and inventor
(1925-2007) earned the title
"birdman" becoming internationally known in 1977 as the "father of
human-powered flight" when his Gossamer Condor made the first sustained,
controlled flight by a heavier-than-air craft powered solely by its pilot's
muscles. For the feat he received the $95,000 Henry Kremer Prize; and the Condor is
now housed at the
Two years later, his team created the Gossamer Albatross, another 70-pound craft with a 96-foot wingspan that, with DuPont sponsorship, achieved a human-powered flight across the English Channel. That flight, made by "pilot-engine" Bryan Allen, took almost three hours. It won the new Kremer prize of $213,000, at the time the largest cash prize in aviation history.
Next, MacCready and his team developed two more aircraft, this time powered by the sun. In 1980, the Gossamer Penguin made the first climbing flight powered solely by sunbeams. In 1981, the ...