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This Incredible Plane: The Gossamer Albatross

The most successful human-powered aircraft pushed both plane and pilot to the very edge.

The Gossamer Albatross in flight.
The Gossamer Albatross in flight.

If the idea of an airplane you could hop into, or onto, and pedal to the sky appeals to you, I get it. But don’t hold your breath for one to show up at your local sporting goods store any time soon. The physics of creating a human-powered plane are impossible.

Well, almost impossible. The Gossamer Albatross was built in the late 1970s for a pair of world-record competitions and took home the gold in both. In the process, it established world records that stand today. 

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