Not noted for...

In 1977, Paul MacReady and Peter Lissaman, from AeroVironment, won the Kremer Prize for Human Powered flight in a striking aircraft they named Gossamer Condor. They named their craft in tribute to the largest flying land birds in the western hemisphere, The Condors.

Later, in 1979, the pair followed up this initial success with a crossing of the English Channel, with an aircraft they named in honour of an accomplished and famed gliding bird, and possessor of the world's longest wingspan. The name? Gossamer Albatross.

When it came time to go one step further and experiment with a solar-powered version of these two pioneering aircraft, there was only one possible way to go. MacCready needed an inspiring name, a name linked in the human mind to graceful, controlled flight. To sleek wings borne aloft on the winds of fortune. To soaring, majestic control of the zephyrs and tradewinds of Shakespeare's "majestical roof fretted with golden fire". MacCready named his inspired, solar-powered flyer

The Gossamer Penguin.

 

Whatever MacCready was drinking to celebrate Albatross's success, I'll have one.

Images: Wikipedia

posted @ Monday, July 30, 2012 2:12 PM

 
 
 
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