The Gossamer Penguin was a solar-power experimental aircraft created by Paul MacCready's AeroVironment.
The Penguin was a three-quarters scale version of the Gossamer Albatross II, and had a 71 ft.(21.64 meter) wingspan and a weight, without pilot, of 68 lb (31 kg). The powerplant was an AstroFlight Astro-40 electric motor, driven by a 541 watt solar panel consisting of 3920 solar cells.
Initial test flights were performed using a 28 cell NiCad battery pack instead of a panel. The test pilot for these flights was MacCready's 13 year old son Marshall, who weighed 80 lb (36 kg).
The official pilot for the project was Janice Brown, a charter pilot with commercial, instrument, and glider ratings who weighed slightly less than 100 lb (45 kg). She flew the Penguin approximately 40 times before a 1.95 mi (3.14 km) public demonstration at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on August 7, 1980.
See also 
- Related development
- ^ Sun-powered Aircraft Designs. Journal of Aircraft Vol. 20 #6.
- ^ MacCready, P.B, Lissaman, P.B.S., Morgan, W.R., and Burke, J.D.: "Sun-powered Aircraft Designs." AIAA paper 81-0916, May 12-14, 1981.
- ^ Boucher, Robert, J., "History of Solar Flight," AIAA-84-1429, 20th Joint Propulsion Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 11-13, 1984
- ^ Solar-powered Gossamer Penguin in flight, USA: NASA.
External links 
Media related to Gossamer Penguin at Wikimedia Commons