AeroVelo Makes First Human Powered Helicopter Flight

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On Thursday, June 13 at 12:43pm a milestone in human powered aviation took place. Inside a non-descript indoor soccer field a team named AeroVelo won the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition.

According to the American Helicopter Society the winner of the Sikorsky Competition would have to keep a human powered helicopter in flight for 60 seconds at an altitude of at least 3m. To further complicate this competition any craft looking to win the prize would have to operate in a 10mx10m area.

After an 18 month development process, AeroVelo’s claimed the, $250,000, 33 year old, Sikorsky prize after keeping their Atlas helicopter aloft for 64.11 seconds reaching a height of 3.3m (10.8ft).

The team’s quad-copter design was created from a frame made of carbon-fiber/Vectran while the blades of the Atlas were made from polystyrene, balsa wood and polyester film. These elements were then tied together by a bicycle at the center of the machine.

In the end the team’s light-weight design accomplished what man has been trying to do since time immortal – take flight with the power of one’s own body. 

Watch a Video of the Sikorsky Winning Attempt:

Image and Video Courtesy of AeroVelo