It hasn't nabbed the Sikorsky Prize yet, but it looks like a new world record: the Gamera II team at the University of Maryland flew, with power provided only by the arms and legs of Ph.D. candidate Kyle Gluesenkamp, for 50 seconds. The team is mostly just breaking its own records at this point, having lasted 35 seconds last week. The Sikorsky Prize, more than 30 years old and yet un-awarded, requires that a human-powered helicopter reach a height of three meters while hovering for a full minute--neither requirement met here. Still, they're getting closer! Video after the jump.
Want to see history made in the blink of an eye? About two weeks ago we wrote about Gamera, the University of Maryland's human-powered helicopter that is chasing after the Sikorsky Prize, a $250,000 purse offered to anyone who can meet a set of ambitious flight criteria with a human-powered helicopter.
Two years, 50 graduate students, countless man hours, and mankind’s insatiable need to prove he can defy gravity will all come to a head on Wednesday when a team of University of Maryland Students attempts to fly its human-powered helicopter, Gamera. They won’t be flying very high, but the payoff could be tremendous; hanging in the balance is a world record, an aviation “first,” and a claim to the $250,000 Sikorsky Challenge.