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Photo of Alan and MacCready
  Alan inspects Paul MacCready's latest creation.

Tyler MacCready had an unusual childhood. In 1977, Tyler and his two brothers helped their dad build the Gossamer Condor - the first successful human-powered airplane.In their free time, the boys set their minds to their own project - a mini-plane, also powered by a human, called the Walkalong Glider.

Photo of Tyler MacCready
Tyler MacCready flys his ingenious Walkalong Glider.  

In this segment, Alan learns to fly this unique variation on the standard paper airplane. Moving at a walking speed, Alan must release the glider just slightly ahead of him, then use his hands to direct air currents up into the wings of the little glider. Alan quickly becomes adept at this tricky skill. Real pros like Tyler- who has had 25 years of practice after all- can guide the glider without even using his hands. As he walks, the plane appears to float just above his head.

It's another example of how MacCready-style experimentation can push the limits of what's possible.

For more on this topic, see the web feature:
Make Your Own Plane

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