Plastic Model of Pterosaur to Take Wing

United Press International

Scientists who spent two years building a model of an extinct flying reptile said Friday that they are ready to fly the plastic beast at an airstrip more accustomed to honoring heads of states than dinosaurs.

The first public demonstration of the wing-flapping, radio-controlled, $700,000 pterosaur, also called pterodactyl, comes today at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., which usually is the scene for the welcoming of dignitaries.

"It's huge. It's extinct. It's ugly . . . and it just fires one's imagination," Paul MacCready said at a news conference at the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum.

"It" was Quetzalcoatlus northropi, a giant pterosaur that disappeared from Earth 65 million years ago.

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