Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fun fact: On this date in science history

Gossamer Albatross in flight.
Author: NASA
On June 12, 1979 the Gossamer Albatross completed a successful crossing of the English Channel.

The Gossamer Albatross was a human-powered aircraft that was designed and built by a team led by Paul B MacCready. It used pedals to drive two large bladed propellers and was piloted by Bryan Allen on the June 12 flight. The 22.2 mile crossing was completed in 2 hours 49 minutes at an average altitude of 5 feet. It achieved a top speed of 18 miles per hour.

The back-up plane the Albatross II is currently on display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA.