Human-Powered Helicopter Breaks Flight Records

By Rudie Obias | 9 years ago

In 1980, the American Helicopter Society (AHS)  have offered the Sikorsky Prize, a reward for $250,000 for the first human-powered helicopter. The prize requirements are a 60-second flight, with an altitude that must reach at least three meters at some point during the 60-second flight. And to this date, it has yet to be claimed by any one.

The Gamera Team of the Clark School of Engineering of Maryland is looking to break the record and claim the prize for themselves. The previous team record was 11.4 seconds of human-powered flight by the Gamera I. The Gamera I team’s human-powered helicopter is equipped with enhanced rotor design, a redesigned cockpit, an improved transmission with less weight. Last week, Gamera II broke that with a dominating 50 seconds of human-powered flight with PhD candidate Kyle Glusenkamp. Here’s their attempt…

But they aren’t only team looking to get the coveted Sikorsky Prize, Team Atlas led by Cameron Robertson & Todd Reichert are looking to build a human-powered helicopter to claim the prize for their homeland Canada. They have even started a kickstarter campaign to raise funds for this incredible journey. Their goal was $30,000 and have since raised well over that amount with $34,424. They became the first successful human-powered flapping-wing aircraft with their Snowbird Human-Powered Ornithopter. Todd Reichert set collegiate human-powered land world speed records of 72.6 MPH in Vortex, a streamlined high-speed recumbent bicycle. They now have the money, they believe they have the design and the human “engine” to get them over the edge but have they set impressive times like The Gamera Team?