After 33 years, the team at AeroVelo has achieved human powered flight for 60 seconds while broke the 3 meter height barrier, taking home $250,000 and some serious bragging rights. From AHS:
For the first time in a third of century, a team has claimed the AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition prize. AHS International and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today awarded the $250,000 prize to AeroVelo, Inc.
The Toronto, Canada-based company won the prize with a June 13, 2013 flight in which its pilot pedaled the four-rotor Atlas helicopter to an altitude of more than 3 meters (9.8 feet) and kept it aloft for more than 60 seconds while remaining within 10 meters (32.8 feet) of the takeoff point. The altitude, duration and controllability were key requirements of the AHS Sikorsky Prize, which AHS established in 1980. Sikorsky Aircraft provided the prize money.
“It took AeroVelo’s fresh ideas, daring engineering approach and relentless pursuit of innovation — coupled with more than three decades of advances in structures, composites, computer-aided design and aeromechanical theory — to succeed in achieving what many in vertical flight considered impossible,” AHS International Executive Director Mike Hirschberg said during the award ceremony at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan, Ontario, where the winning flight took place.
Hover past the break for photos and more…
AeroVelo’s Todd Reichert (pilot) and Cameron Robertson.
AeroVelo’s based in Toronto, Canada, so only fitting they chose a Canadian (in spirit, anyway) bike brand: Cervelo. Check the massive
AHS’s overview says the Atlas is the largest operational helicopter ever constructed. It measures 58 meters (190 feet) but weighs only 52 kilograms (115 pounds). Four 20.4 meter (67 foot) diameter rotors provide the lift.
The Atlas project was begun in January 2012 and made its first flight in August 2012. AHS says the conclusion of this contest is only the beginning of human powered flight; expect another “grand contest” to be announced soon.
All photos from AHS International. Check their website for the complete story.