Progress Photos for February, 2003
Lift Tests with Pilot, Mike Gillian

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This day's temperature was in the 20s, but the Spirit was ready, outfitted with final props, and our pilot Mike Gillian was ready to try his first lift.


  1. Mark Miller, Mike Gillian and Dr. Ken Packer assess the weather conditions.

  2. The Spirit of Glen Ellyn is pulled from her hangar.

  3. Rolled into position, the Spirit waits for her pilot.

  4. Mike Gillian climbs aboard the trailer and begins to checkout his aircraft.

  5. Mike shares a few words with his ground crew.

  6. Mike agrees the first tow will be only about 10 MPH to get the feel of the plane's character.

  7. Mike swings himself onto the wing.

  8. Positioning his feet, one can only imagine Orville and Wilbur going through the same contortions nearly 100 years ago.

  9. Now in position, Mike gets his bearings.

  10. Canard lever test.

  11. Using hip movement in the cradle control, Mike tests the wing warping operation.

  12. All is ready. Let's go!

  13. Ground crew flanks each wing.

  14. The Spirit and her pilot are taxied out to the runway.

  15. After the first two trials Mike was asking for more speed. In this third trial the Spirit moved at about 22 MPH. By the fourth trial Mike and the Spirit achieved LIFT. (Sorry, no photo.)

  16. Our daring men and their flying machines.

  17. Imagine....

  18. Chilly but exhilarated, Mike ponders his experience.

  19. Great job Mike Gillian!
More to come.