• Short Summary

    Britain's own 'Jupiter' flight got off the ground yesterday (19 March) at Bonson Air Force Base in Oxfordshire -- for fourty-four seconds.

  • Description

    Britain's own 'Jupiter' flight got off the ground yesterday (19 March) at Bonson Air Force Base in Oxfordshire -- for fourty-four seconds.

    The five hundred yards (metres) flight was made in a pedal-powered plane by Flight lieutenant John Potter -- he was attempting to break the ton year old half-mile record for man-powered flight. He reached a height of twenty-five feet (7.6 metres), but then crashed far short of his objective.

    The machine - named Jupiter -- will take days rather than months to repair, and the team will try again soon for the record.

    A GBP10,000 sterling prize has been offered by an industrialist and the Royal Aeronautical Society for a mile-long flight along a figure of eight course. The Jupiter team face competition form the 'Puffin' -- another half-plane, half-bicycle -- built by the British Aircraft Corporation.

    SYNOPSIS: Benson Air Force Base near Oxford in Britain -- where on Sunday Flight Lieutenant John Potter prepared his strange machine -- half plane and half bicycle -- for an attempt to break the half-mile record for a man-powered aircraft.

    Lieutenant Potter plays the role of both pilot and engine for his try at the ten year-old record. Obviously the airport authorities did not share his faith in the aircraft, and a fire tender followed him closely every inch tender followed him closely every inch of the way. He started off well enough and worked hard to maintain height -- at one time reaching twenty-five feet. The team that built the pedal-powered craft -- named 'Jupiter' -- stand to win ten thousand pounds sterling if they can fly the aircraft over a mile-long figure eight course. This time they were out of luck. A sudden cross-wind caught 'Jupiter' and -- after only fourty-four seconds of flight -- it made an unplanned crash-landing.

    Landing-gear and cockpit canopy were smashed, but this did nothing to dis-hearten the intrepid pilot. After a few days, he said, 'Jupiter' would be as good as new again, ready for another try at the record.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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