Already demolishing the standing world record more than twice over, a massive human-powered quadrotor designed by students at the University of Maryland is poised to make aviation history today. The Gamera II helicopter is shooting for the Sikorsky Prize, one of aviation's last great challenges, by hovering for one full minute under human power only. Their first attempt Wednesday morning lasted 35 seconds!
Last year, UMD students set a new record for a human-powered hover that lasted 11.4 seconds. This year's design is 30 percent lighter and is projected to hover for at least 60 seconds, which is one of the Sikorsky Prize requirements. The aircraft also has to stay within a small area and reach 9.8 feet (3 meters) in altitude.
Gamera II — Gamera is a flying turtle, in homage to the terps — is testing today at the Reckord Armory on the UMD campus in College Park. Watch a livestream here. Below, you can see a clip of the 35-second flight. Stay tuned for further updates.
Uh.. slight correction it's 3 meters in height NOT 10 meters, the area it has to stay within is 10 square meters.
Playing Devil's Advocate since 1978
"The only constant in the universe is change"
-Heraclitus of Ephesus 535 BC - 475 BC
3 meters is almost 10 feet. In the video it doesn't seem to get more than a foot off the ground though. I hope the young lady powering this thing wasn't going flat out in this test. It's going to be a lot harder to keep it in the air when it gets out of ground effect.
Still some impressive engineering regardless.
Below is a link to complete rules, an interesting read. No lighter than air gasses, no energy storage devices, no drugs or stimulants... damn. They know all my tricks.
Umm......looks to me almost like the spotters were holding it up. The rotors had barely even begun turning and it just lifted up about a foot. Even with ground effect, thats a bit suspicious to me.
That is the reason for the 3 meter height. That showed only ground effect lift. It would raise up fast and be limited in a few inches to a foot or so.
MORE Science Fiction from the PopSci crackpots. STILL waiting for those Commuter AeroCars you promised us in your mag since 1955.
What a joke. It's a 4-blade Cuisinart Food Processor for the Jolly Green Giant!!
Yes, extreme ground effect is quite powerful. As the pilot, I can tell you that the heli feels phenomenally responsive as a result. It is some quality engineering to be sure. Please peruse our info here if you are interested: http://www.agrc.umd.edu/gamera/
Nice of them to not use a tripod for the camera filming it for us. And again, nice of them to stand that FAT HEAD to block the peddler for the contraption.