The physiology of human-powered flight
When bicyclist-cum-pilot Kanellos Kanellopoulos pedaled an aircraft 74 miles across the Aegean Sea in April 1988, breaking the previous record for self-powered time aloft, the engineers who designed the craft garnered a hefty dose of praise (SN: 4/30/88, p.277).
Less publicized, however, was a stunning success story about the application of theoretical physiology to a practical task. Out of the limelight, a team of metabolic mechanics put in long hours figuring how to keep Kanellopoulos' human-body engine perfectly fueled and tuned during the strenuous four-hour trip.
The so-called Daedalus 88 flight provided a wealth …