Human Powered Helicopter
As the search for alternative energy sources expands, some take a different approach. This idea may seems like a stone age idea coming from the Flintstones, but a Canadian aeronautical startup AeroVelo created an incredible human powered helicopter named Atlas. With their new innovated flying helicopter, they were able to win the Sikorsky Prize of $250,000 dollars. The Sikorsky competition is extreme and the rules are almost impossible, but that didn’t stop Atlas.
The rules require a team to keep their helicopter suspended in the air at ten feet for at least sixty seconds. At the same time they also can only be within a thirty by thirty food boundary. Such a feat is quite an accomplishment which is rewarded by a grand monetary prize. Since the competition which was started more than 30 years ago, there has been no winner of the prize until Atlas stepped into the ring.
The AeroVelo group was in a race of time with the University of Maryland. After receiving some funding through a kickstarter bid, AreoVelo was able to buy the airframe for the human powered helicopter costing them $30,000. After getting the frame, the group then had their hands full with trying to power the system. With a limited time window to test their craft Atlas, after two failed attempts, pilot Reichert was able to win the prize.
The prize winning flight test occurred in Toronto, Canada on an indoor soccer field. They were allowed to use the space for five days. After two test flights that failed and broke the flying machine, the team slipped one more extra test in before their time was up. AeroVelo group made their famous flight with only minutes before they were to vacate the place to allow an evening soccer practice previously scheduled.
AeroVelo has also opened many doors to continue making engineering feats. Although human powered machines will not be as fast as gasoline fueled engines, it’s innovation will inspire future mins to provide the world with better, faster and more reliable human powered machines for the future. And possibly, a future where humans can power their own cars or machines providing green energy.
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