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Prize Awarded in Human Powered Helicopter Competition

Prize Awarded in Human Powered Helicopter Competition

Image source: aerovelo.com

After 33 years, the American Helicopter Society has finally awarded a winner in the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition, declaring the official winner to be the AeroVelo Atlas.

“This incredible flight was 64.11 seconds in duration (World Record for “Duration on Hover”), reached a 3.3m peak altitude, and drifted a maximum of 9.8m. The Atlas as flown on June 13th behaved very differently from the aircraft we first flew some 9 months ago, a result of many incremental improvements and changes. In 18 months this passionate team went from preliminary design to achieving what many considered impossible, taking down one of the most daunting aviation feats of the past century.” – AeroVelo

In order to win the Sikorsky prize, flights must last at least 60 seconds, reach an altitude of 3 meters off the ground, and must hover within a 10×10 meter square. The Atlas was able to do so on June 13th, 2013, and after thorough analysis of the flight data and verification from the American Helicopter Society, AeroVelo will receive the $250,000 prize.

The Atlas helicopter is huge (larger than any other operational helicopter), with an overall width of 58 meters. The craft, which weighs just 52 kg, is lifted by four 20.4 meter rotors, which are powered by the pilot through pedaling a carbon-fiber bicycle frame at the center of the Atlas.

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