Mac Cready Jr. , Paul B.

Aeronautical engineer, pioneer in human-powered, solar, and alternate energy-powered flight

Price: $35.00

Description:
(1925-2007) American aeronautical engineer, founder of AeroVironment and designer of the human-powered aircraft that won the 1st Kremer prize. He won a national contest building a model flying machine at 15. He trained as a Navy pilot before the end of WW II. He received a 1947 BS in physics from Yale, a 1948 MS in physics and a 1952 PhD in aeronautics, both from Caltech. He started gliding after WW II and was a 3-time winner (1948, 1949, 1953) of the Richard C. du Pont Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the U.S. National Open Class Soaring Champion. In 1956 he became the first US pilot to become World Soaring Champion. He devised the MacCready Theory on the correct speed to fly a glider depending on conditions and based on the glider's rate of sink at different air-speeds. Glider pilots still use the "MacCready speed ring". With Dr. Peter B.S. Lissaman he created a human-powered aircraft, the Gossamer Condor, and won the 1st Kremer prize in 1977. The award-winning plane was built out of aluminum tubing, plastic foam, piano wire, bicycle parts, and mylar foil for covering. In 1979, he built its successor, the Gossamer Albatross, which won the 2nd Kremer prize for successfully flying over the English Channel from England to France. He later created solar powered aircraft, such as the Gossamer Penguin and the Solar Challenger. He was involved in the development of NASA's solar-powered flying wings such as the Helios, which surpassed the SR-71's altitude records and could theoretically fly on Mars (where the atmosphere is thin and has little oxygen). MacCready also collaborated with General Motors on the design of the Sunraycer, a solar powered car, and then on the EV-1 electric car. In 1985 he was commissioned to build a half scale working replica of the pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus for the Smithsonian Institution, following a 1984 workshop which concluded that such a replica was feasible. The remote-controlled flying reptile, with a wingspan of 18’was filmed over Death Valley, California in 1986 for the Smithsonian's IMAX film “On the Wing”. It flew successfully several times before being severely damaged in a crash at an air show. He helped sponsor the Nissan Dempsey/MacCready Prize to motivate developments in racing-bicycle technology, applying aerodynamics and new materials to allow for faster human-powered vehicles. He was the founder (in 1971) and Chairman of AeroVironment Inc., developing unmanned surveillance aircraft and advance power systems. AV recently flew a prototype of the first airplane to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells, the Global Observer. He received, amongst other awards, the 1979 Collier Trophy from the National Aeronautics Association ("awarded annually for the greatest achievement in Aeronautics and Astronautics in America"), the 1980 Engineer of the Century Gold Medal (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), 1981 Inventor of the Year Award (Association for the Advancement of Invention and Innovation), Gold Air Medal (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale), 1987 Guggenheim Medal (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers), 1988 National Air and Space Museum Trophy for Current Achievement, The National Aviation Hall of Fame (1991), included in Time magazine's "The Century's Greatest Minds" (March 29, 1999) series "on the 100 most influential people of the century",and is commemorated on a 2000 Palau "Environmental Heroes of the 20th Century" stamp. US 1978 31c Wright Brothers 1st Flight 75th Anniversary airmail stamp 3 ¾ x 6 ½ cacheted First Day Cover signed by Mac Cready. Postmarked "First Day of Issue", Dayton, Ohio, September 23 1978.

Condition: Very good
Type:First Day Cover






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