Human-Powered Helicopter Gamera II Actually Gets Off the Ground
Students from the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland set an unofficial flight record benchmark by piloting a human-powered helicopter for roughly 40 seconds, potentially shattering the 11.4 second record set by the team last July.
The amazing machine is called the Gamera II, and it spans the length of a basketball court. Despite its size, the helicopter features super-light materials and weighs only 75 pounds. A single person operates the machine from a central hub, working their hands and feet to spin the craft's gigantic rotors.
The Gamera II team is one of several competing in the American Helicopter Society's human-powered helicopter competition this summer. To win the $250,000 contest, an individual or team must build a human-powered helicopter that hovers for 60 seconds, reaches a height of three meters and stays with a 10-square meter area during the flight. Good luck, teams!