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Paul MacCready, Human-Powered Flying Machine Inventor
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Paul MacCready

Paul MacCready

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Paul MacCready as a child, flying a model airplane
Paul MacCready as a child, flying a model airplane

Human-Powered Flying Machine Inventor

After half a lifetime of experimenting with gliders, sailplanes, and model airplanes, aeronautics engineer Paul MacCready built the Gossamer Condor--the world’s first successful human-powered plane.

“What was really fascinating about human-powered flight was the $95,000 prize for achieving it,” MacCready once said. The Kremer Prize committee offered the reward for the world’s first sustained, controlled flight by a heavier-than-air craft powered solely by its pilot’s muscles. The prize remained unclaimed for 18 years until MacCready’s Gossamer Condor completed the required one-mile course in 1977.

Next: The Work of Paul MacCready ›

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