Flight Research with the MIT Daedalus Prototype 871350

The MIT Light Eagle human-powered aircraft underwent long-duration testing over Rogers Dry Lake in California during January, 1987. Designed as a prototype for the MIT Daedalus Project, the Light Eagle's forty-eight flights provided pilot training, established new distance records for human-powered flight, and provided quantitative data through a series of instrumented flight experiments. The experiments focused on: 1) evaluating physiological loads on the pilot, 2) determining airframe power requirements, and 3) developing an electronic flight control system. This paper discusses the flight test program, its results and their implications for the follow-on Daedalus aircraft, and the potential uses of the Light Eagle as a low Reynolds number testbed.


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