The Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition was established in 1980 by the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International to develop the first controlled flight of a human powered helicopter that meets a set of extremely challenging requirements. In summary, the requirements to win the AHS Human Powered Helicopter Competition include a flight duration of 60 seconds and reaching an altitude of 3 meters (9.8 ft) while remaining in a 10 meter (32.8 ft) square. The flight must be certified by a representative of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. On July 11, 2013, 33 years after the competition was established, the award was officially declared won when AeroVelo, from the University of Toronto, flew a human-powered helicopter that met all the requirements of the competition. [Wikipedia]
This is such an amazing achievement. This was largely considered impossible. He doesn’t even look like he is peddling that hard! The flight was piloted and pedalled by AeroVelo’s Dr. Todd Reichert inside the Soccer Centre in Vaughan, Ontario. This incredible flight was 64.11 seconds in duration, reached a 3.3m peak altitude, and drifted a maximum of 9.8m.
In congratulating the team, AHS International executive director Mike Hirschberg said: “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.” The Sikorsky Prize is the equivalent of $250,000.
Watching this video is inspiring. It reminds me that everything is impossible until someone decides to prove the world wrong.
- Where I heard the story: here.
- Team Site: AeroVelo.com
- My Other Inspirations
- Another Post On achieving the Impossible