Dr. Paul MacCready, legendary aeronautical engineer and founder of Aerovironment, died in his sleep at the age of 81. Many of us met him met him in 2005 at MAV05 in Germany but all of us are familiar with his incredible body of work ranging from the first human powered aircraft, to the GM Sunraycer electric car, and the world altitude record holding Helios. MacCready was a world champion sailplane pilot, holds a Cal Tech Ph.D. in aeronautics, has been granted 7 honorary degrees, and has contributed a total of 4 aircraft and one car to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution. He founded Aerovironment in 1971, the world’s largest supplier of hand-launched UAVs.
Three Paparazzi equipped Funjets were part of the Flohof measurement campaign around the Hofsjökull glacier in Iceland. We were able to measure temperature, humidity, pressure and estimate the wind. The authorities issued a NOTAM, clearing the airspace up to 12.000 feet which allowed us to set a new Paparazzi altitude record.