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Pedal-Plane Sets 2 Records for Human-Powered Flight

January 22, 1987|Associated Press

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE — The experimental pedal-plane Eagle lumbered slowly around a triangular course above this desert flight center today, setting two distance records for human-powered flight. The record flight covered 37.2 miles and took 2 hours and 13 minutes.

Pilot Glenn Tremml, 26, took off at 8:25 a.m., pumping the pedals to power the 11-foot propeller.

After the landing at 10:38 a.m., Tremml climbed out of the plane and was greeted with a hug and a handshake from his ground crew. "I feel great," Tremml shouted to reporters.

He said he wanted to go farther and only stopped because one of his feet slipped off a pedal and he couldn't reinsert it before the craft skidded to a landing.

About 9 a.m. he broke a 10-mile closed-course mark set Wednesday by Lois McCallin, 30, who powered the 92-pound Eagle about 10 miles over a similar triangular course during a 37-minute, 38-second flight.

At 9:50 a.m., Tremml surpassed the 22-mile world record set in 1979 by the Gossamer Albatross, pedaled across the English Channel by pilot Bryan Allen.

The weather was calm and cold as Eagle flew slowly a few feet above the dry lake bed on a triangular course.

The Eagle was built to test design concepts for another plane, to be named Daedalus after the mythical figure who made wings of feathers and wax and flew 69 miles from the Mediterranean island of Crete to the Greek mainland.

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