History The Gerhardt Cycleplane was developed in 1923 by Dr. W. Frederick Gerhardt, head of the Aeronautical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan. While working as an aeronautical engineer at McCook Field Dr. Gerhardt designed the Cycleplane during his off-duty hours. The Cycleplane was one of many civilian aircraft projects developed at McCook Field by the base's engineers and test staff.[1] The concept was to produce an aircraft capable of maintaining stable, level flight by human-power alone.[1] The Cycleplane was constructed using private funds by members of the McCook Field Flight Test Section.[1] Preliminary construction took place in secrecy in a barn loft.[1] Officials from the base's Engineering Section later allowed Gerhardt and his crew to move into the McCook Field helicopter hangar for the aircraft's final assembly and storage.[1] The Cycleplane had seven narrow vertically-mounted wings, two attached to the small wood-and-fabric fuselage, and the other five stacked above it to a height of nearly 15 feet.[1] A single pilot sat in an open cockpit near the wing roots where he pedaled a bicycle gear attached to a large two-bladed propeller

johnbr, Nov 7, 2012
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    Before WW1
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