Paul MacCready, a true green transport pioneer, died recently. Ted.com has made available a video of a 21-minute talk he made in 2003. The talk has great stories about his amazing career, like the inspiration to create his first human-powered flying vehicle. It seems Paul had a $100,000 debt at the time and thought winning the $100,000 prize for the first human-powered flight vehicle was the perfect solution.

He spent $65,000 to make the Gossamer Condor so that's why he had to win second human-powered flight prize of crossing the English channel. The real money maker, it turns out, was selling the plane to the Air and Space museum, which reduced Paul's income taxes by two-thirds. My favorite moment from the talk is Paul's description of a flexible solar powered plane he made with NASA. He said "the wings could touch together on top and not break... we think."

Paul also mentions the EV1 and CARB's decision to to pull the electric car mandate. His son then ends the talk by demonstrating a great flying toy.

[Source: TedBlog and tipster Natasha]


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