The Michelob Light Eagle is seen here in flight over Rogers Dry Lake at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. The Light Eagle and Daedalus human powered aircraft were testbeds for flight research conducted at Dryden between January 1987 and March 1988.These unique aircraft were designed and constructed by a group of students, professors, and alumni of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology within the context of the Daedalus project. The construction of the Light Eagle and Daedalus aircraft was funded primarily by the Anheuser Busch and United Technologies Corporations, respectively, with additional support from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, MIT, and a number of other sponsors.To celebrate the Greek myth of Daedalus, the man who constructed wings of wax and feathers to escape King Minos, the Daedalus project began with the goal of designing, building and testing a human-powered aircraft that could fly the mythical distance, 115 km. To achieve this goal, three aircraft were constructed. The Light Eagle was the prototype aircraft, weighing 92 pounds. On January 22, 1987, it set a closed course distance record of 59 km, which still stands. Also in January of 1987, the Light Eagle was powered by Lois McCallin to set the straight distance, the distance around a closed circuit, and the duration world records for the female division in human powered vehicles.Following this success, two more aircraft were built, the Daedalus 87 and Daedalus 88. Each aircraft weighed approximately 69 pounds.
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