It was on this day that the Gossamer Condor 2, built by Dr. Paul McCready, flew the figure-eight course specified by the Royal Aeronautical Society, at Minter Field in Shafter, California. Slowly cruising at only 11 mph(17.7 mph), it traveled a distance of 2,172 meters (2,375 yards). This human-powered flight was piloted by Bryan Allen, an amateur cyclist, and hang-glider. "The Gossamer Condor 2 aircraft is preserved at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum."
In the early 1970's Dr. Paul McCready and Dr. Peter Lissaman took a fresh look at human-powered flight and came up with an unorthodox aircraft, named the Gossamer Condor. Their inspiration came from hang gliders, "increasing wing area so that the drag of the wire bracing needed would be reduced. The Gossamer Condor is built around a large wing with a gondola for the pilot underneath and a canard control surface on a fuselage extension in front, and is mostly built of lightweight plastics with aluminum spars."
The Gossamer Condor evolved over time and had three distinct versions. The first version was called the Passadena version and flew only once over the parking lot of the Rose Bowl. The second version was named the Mojave version was flown at Mojave airport and was piloted by McCready's son. The record-breaking version was the Shafter version and was capable of taking off under human power.
The success of McCready and the AeroVironment Company to carry on making experimental aircraft including the Gossamer Albatross which crossed the English Channel; the Solar Challenger, a solar-electric-powered version that also made the English Channel crossing; and NASA's Pathfinder/Helios series of unmanned solar-powered aircraft.
Man has been flying for many years now but I suspect he'll never give up making new and better improvements, like jetpacks. I give credit to humans for never giving up on their dreams or their quest to conquer the unknown.
If you'd like to celebrate this day, all you need do is use #RideTheWindDay and post on all your social media platforms. I invite you back again tomorrow for a fun blog that will close out the first week of my fourth year of blogging. Where does the time go? Until then, as always, I wish you joy and much