Aviones a pedal y alas solares

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Paul B. MacCready, Jr. (September 25, 1925 - August 28, 2007), During his adolescence he was a serious model airplane enthusiast, who set many records for experimental craft. At age 16, he soloed in poweredplanes. In World War II, he flew in the U.S. Navy flight training program. Was an American aeronautical engineer. He was the founder of AeroVironment and the inventor of the first practical flying machine powered by a human being. He devoted his life to developing more efficient transportation vehicles that could "Do more with less".

In 1943 MacCready graduated from Hopkins School in NewHaven. In 1947 he received his Bachelor of Science in physics from Yale University. His interest in flight grew to include gliders. He won the 1948, 1949 and 1953 U.S. National Soaring Championships, pioneered high-altitude wave soaring in the United States; and in 1947 was the first American in 14 years to establish an international soaring record. (The 1999 National Soaring Convention of the SoaringSociety of America was dedicated to him.) He represented the United States at contests in Europe four times, becoming International Champion in France in 1956, the first American to achieve this goal.

During the decade 1946-56, MacCready worked on sailplane development, soaring techniques, meteorology, and invented the Speed Ring Airspeed Selector that is used by glider pilots worldwide toselect the optimum flight speed between thermals (commonly called the "MacCready Speed"). Concurrently, he earned a master's degree in physics in 1948 and a Ph.D. in aeronautics in 1952 from the California Institute of Technology, and in 1950-51 managed a weather modification program in Arizona. He founded Meteorology Research Inc., that became a leading firm in weather modification and atmosphericscience research. He pioneered the use of small instrumented aircraft to study storm interiors and performed many of the piloting duties.

In 1971, MacCready started AeroVironment, Inc., a diversified company headquartered in Monrovia, California. The company provides services, developments, and products in the fields of alternative energy, power electronics, and energy efficient vehicles foroperation on land and in air and water. Products include environmental instrumentation, surveillance aircraft, and power electronic systems for stationary and mobile uses. MacCready is Chairman of the Board of AeroVironment, and active in all the technology areas.

MacCready became internationally known in 1977 as the "father of human-powered flight" when his Gossamer Condor made the firstsustained, controlled flight by a heavier-than-air craft powered solely by its pilot's muscles. For the feat he received the $95,000 Henry Kremer Prize. Two years later, his team created the Gossamer Albatross, another 70-pound craft with a 96-foot wingspan that, with DuPont sponsorship, achieved a human-powered flight across the English Channel. That flight, made by "pilot-engine" Bryan Allen, tookalmost three hours. It won the new Kremer prize of $213,000, at the time the largest cash prize in aviation history.

Subsequently, the AeroVironment team led by MacCready developed, under DuPont sponsorship, two more aircraft, this time powered by the sun. In 1980, the Gossamer Penguin made the first climbing flight powered solely by sunbeams. In 1981, the rugged Solar Challenger was piloted 163miles from Paris, France to England, at an altitude of 11,000 feet. These solar-powered aircraft were built and flown to draw world attention to photovoltaic cells as a renewable and non-polluting energy source for home and industry and to demonstrate the use of DuPont's advanced materials for lightweight structures.

In 1983, his team built the 70-pound, human-powered (with on-board battery...