1979 Gossamer Albatross

In the late 1970s DuPont sponsored a pedal-powered aircraft named Gossamer Albatross. Dr. Paul MacCready’s plane was made with Mylar® and Kevlar® and other man-made materials. Its sole pilot was Bryan Allen, who used only muscle power to pedal the Albatross’ propeller. On June 12, 1979, the fragile-looking Albatross lifted slowly off English soil and headed out over the waters bound for France. However, after a breathtaking two hours and 49 minutes, Allen safely landed the plane.