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Gossamer Penguin
Test flight of the Gossamer Penguin
Role experimental aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer AeroVironment
Designed by Paul MacCready
First flight 1979
Number built 1
Developed from Gossamer Albatross

The Gossamer Penguin was a solar-power experimental aircraft created by Paul MacCready's AeroVironment.[1]

The Penguin was a three-quarters scale version of the Gossamer Albatross II, and had a 71' wingspan and a weight, without pilot, of 68 lbs.[1] The powerplant was an AstroFlight Astro-40 electric motor, driven by a 541 watt solar panel consisting of 3920 solar cells. [1]

Initial test flights were performed using a 28 cell NiCad battery pack instead of a panel. The test pilot for these flights was MacReady's 13 year old son Marshall MacReady, who weighed 80 lbs. [1]

The official pilot for the project was Janice Brown, a charter pilot with commercial, instrument, and glider ratings who weighed slightly less than 100 lbs. She flew the Penguin approximately 40 times before a 1.95 mile public demonstration at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on August 7, 1980. [1]

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