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Testing the Gossamer Albatross II Testing the Gossamer Albatross II

Photo Number: ECN-12604
Photo Date: March 20, 1980

Formats: 558x480 JPEG Image (55 KBytes)
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Description: The Gossamer Albatross II is seen here during a test flight at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California.

The original Gossamer Albatross is best known for completing the first completely human powered flight across the English Channel on June 12, 1979. The Albatross II was the backup craft for the Channel flight.

It was fitted with a small battery-powered electric motor and flight instruments for the NASA research program in low-speed flight. NASA completed its flight testing of the Gossamer Albatross II and began analysis of the results in April, 1980.

During the six week program, 17 actual data gathering flights and 10 other flights were flown here as part of the joint NASA Langley/Dryden flight research program.

The lightweight craft, carrying a miniaturized instrumentation system, was flown in three configurations; using human power, with a small electric motor, and towed with the propeller removed. Results from the program contributed to data on the unusual aerodynamic, performance, stability, and control characteristics of large, lightweight aircraft that fly at slow speeds for application to future high altitude aircraft.

The Albatross' design and research data contributed to numerous later high altitude projects, including the Pathfinder.


Keywords: Gossamer Albatross; Gossamer Albatross II; English Channel; human power; slow-speed flight tests; lightweight


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