Science: Return of the Pterosaur

After 65 million years, an ancient creature will fly again

For millions of years, gigantic flying reptiles with 36-ft. wingspans, believed to be the largest creatures ever to take to the air, soared on the warm thermal updrafts above the badlands of West Texas. Then, some 65 million years ago, along with their cousins the dinosaurs, pterosaurs disappeared from the earth forever. Well, not exactly forever. If Aeronautical Engineer Paul MacCready has his way, the winged reptile--or at least a good likeness of it--will fly again. MacCready, 59, designer of the Gossamer Albatross, the human-powered aircraft that flew across the English Channel in 1979, is building a full-scale, mechanical, wing-flapping pterosaur...

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