Making Pterosaurs Fly
7. Paul McCready 1985
The Quetzalcoatlus Project was started in 1984 with a workshop to establish the
feasibility of a design project. In 1985, McCready was commissioned by the
Smithsonian Institution to build a half scale model of Quetzalcoatlus and in
December 1985 the model pterosaur made its first flight. This flying model was
much more sophisticated than previous flying models and
used aviation technology in its construction. It had an autopilot device and a
recovery parachute which could be controlled from the ground.
The project was used to produce an IMAX movie in 1986 for the Smithsonian Air
and Space Museum in Washington D. C.
Paul B. MacCready,
Jr. (1925 - 2007) was a US
aerospace engineer specialising in low power flight. He was instrumental in
designing a solar powered aircraft and a hydrogen powered plane.