MacCready Gossamer Penguin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Gossamer Penguin)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gossamer Penguin
Gossamer penguin.jpg
Test flight of the Gossamer Penguin
Role experimental aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer AeroVironment
Designer Paul MacCready
First flight May 18, 1979
Number built 1
Developed from Gossamer Albatross
Developed into Solar Challenger

The Gossamer Penguin was a solar-powered experimental aircraft created by Paul MacCready's AeroVironment.[1] MacCready, whose Gossamer Albatross had made the first human-powered flight in 1977, told reporters two weeks in June, 1980 that "The first solar-powered flight ever made took place on May 18." [2] The testing ground was at Minter Field outside of Shafter, California. [2]

The Penguin was a 3/4 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.[3]

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.[4]

Specifications[edit]

Data from MacCready, Lissaman, Morgan, and Burke 1983[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Wingspan: 71 ft 0 in (21.64 m)
  • Wing area: 297 sq ft (27.6 m2)
  • Empty weight: 68 lb (30.8 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 28 x D type Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) cells or 3920 solar cells
  • Powerplant: 1 × Astro-Flight Astro-40 double brush DC electric motor with 133:1 reduction

See also[edit]

Related development

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b P.B. MacCready; P.B.S. Lissaman; W.R. Morgan; J.D. Burke (June 1983). "Sun-Powered Aircraft Designs". Journal of Aircraft. 20 (6): 487–493. doi:10.2514/3.44898. ISSN 0021-8669.
  2. ^ a b "Plane flies on sun power", by Terrance W. McGarry, United Press International report in the Spokane (WA) Chronicle, June 5, 1980, p12
  3. ^ Boucher, Robert, J. (June 11–13, 1984). History of Solar Flight (AIAA-84-1429). 20th Joint Propulsion Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi:10.2514/6.1984-1429.CS1 maint: location (link)
  4. ^ Solar-powered Gossamer Penguin in flight, USA: NASA.