One pilot, no gas and a nonstop flight around the world.
By Michael StrohPosted 10.29.2004 at 12:00 pm 0 Comments
Favorable winds weren’t the only thing that helped Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard and co-pilot Brian Jones pull off the first nonstop round-the-world balloon flight in 1999. The trip also required burning nearly four tons of propane fuel, a fact that never sat well with the environmentally
So now Piccard has dreamed up a greener—and far gutsier—aviation milestone to conquer: circling the globe in a solar-powered plane. “It would be the purest way to fly,” he says. Pure, yes; easy, no, notes engineer Paul MacCready
1, 2: Gossamer Condor/Albatross
Paul MacCready becomes the "father of human-powered flight" when his 70-pound Gossamer Condor completes the first sustained, controlled human-powered flight. Two years later, his team flies the Gossamer Albatross, which has a 96-foot wingspan and is built mostly of plastic and carbon fiber, across the English Channel. That flight, made by cyclist Bryan Allen, takes a stately three hours to accomplish, though it covers only 23 miles.