Gossamer Aircraft and where they lead

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Gossamer Flugzeuge und ihre Zukunft
Author:MacCready, Paul B.
Editor:Wilson, David Gordon; Abbott, Allan V.
Published in:Human-powered vehicles
Published:Champaign: Human Kinetics (Verlag), 1995, 1995. S. 239-245, Lit., Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Compilation article
Media type: Print resource
Language:English
ISBN:0873228278
Keywords:
Online Access:
Identification number:PU199910402257
Source:BISp

Author's abstract

Winning the first Kremer Prize in 1977 with the Gossamer Condor started the Gossamer team on a series of unusual developments that are still continuing. The focus here is on the primary Gossamer aircraft, the Gossamer Condor and the Gossamer Albatross. Gossamer is a noun denoting spider threads that occasionally drift and alight in such profusion that they cover a grassy field; the word has come to mean something fragile, flimsy, tenuous, cobweblike - and so is appropriate for these transparent wire-braced, human-powered airplanes. We chose condor in honor of the giant, ugly, slow flying, impractical (and nearly extinct) California condor. Albatross was chosen because it represents the large, slender-winged bird that soars for long distances just over the waves. We also mention the Gossamer Penguin - a three-quarter-size backup version of the Gossamer Albatross that was pressed into service as a research tool for solar-powered flight. The transparent Bionic Bat that won two Kremer speed prizes was somewhat analogous to the Gossamer Condor and the Gossamer Albatross, in being fragile and thus, for safety, limited to flight no higher than 5 to 7 m (15 to 20 ft). It melded an electrical power system with human muscle, thus perfectly fitting the word bionic. Bat seemed an appropriate name: a mammal that flies silently close to the ground in the still air or of dusk. Verf.-Referat