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The Flight of the Gossamer Condor (1978)

The Flight of the Gossamer Condor tells the inspiring true story of history's first successful human-powered flight. Renowned inventor Dr. Paul MacCready and his team were filmed creating ... See full summary »

Director:

Ben Shedd
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Bryan Allen Bryan Allen ... Himself - Final Pilot
Paul B. MacCready Paul B. MacCready ... Himself (as Paul MacCready)
Tyler MacCready Tyler MacCready ... Himself
Greg Miller Greg Miller ... Himself
Roger Steffens ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

The Flight of the Gossamer Condor tells the inspiring true story of history's first successful human-powered flight. Renowned inventor Dr. Paul MacCready and his team were filmed creating the world-famous pedal-powered airplane as it happened. Producing this film which documents the development of a man's dream into a scientific and historic achievement was, in itself, an extraordinary effort. There was an immense risk involved in making a commitment to film a scientist's effort at achieving something which had never done before successfully. Written by Ben Shedd <sheddprods@aol.com>

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Plot Keywords:

invention | test flight | aviation | See All (3) »

Genres:

Documentary | Short

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1978 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shedd Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Gossamer Condor airplane is now displayed in the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum between the Wright Brothers' first plane and the Apollo 11 moon capsule. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Up, up and away!
23 November 2017 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Since the beginning of time, humans have attempted to fly. Wilbur and Orville Wright achieved this with a motor-powered airplane in 1903, but a human-powered flying machine remained elusive. So, in 1959, British industrialist Henry Kremer offered £50,000 to anyone who could develop a human-powered aircraft. Many tried to no avail. So, in the 1970s, AeroVironment employee Paul MacCready decided to tackle the challenge. The result was the Gossamer Condor, with increased wing area to reduce drag.

Ben Shedd's Academy Award-winning documentary "The Flight of the Gossamer Condor" looks at the development and launch of MacCready's brainchild. Naturally it took a few tries, but they eventually succeeded and went on to win the Kremer Prize (I doubt that I have to warn about spoilers; the documentary's title IS the spoiler). It looks like an impressive and fun process. This is one documentary that should dispel the notion that science is boring, or that people shouldn't try to innovate. Good times.


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