Many thought it impossible for a helicopter powered by human strength alone to stay in the air, so much so that a $250,000 prize was established in 1980 for the team who could accomplish the feat.
We have bad news for all those pursuing the Sikorsky prize, though; the deed has been done, with the jackpot going to Canadians Cameron Robertson and Todd Reichert of AeroVelo.
The Atlas is controlled by having a single pilot pedal a bicycle-like wheel to turn the aircraft’s four enormous, independent rotors (one at each corner). The entire span of the craft is 190 feet. On June 13th, with Reichert pedaling away in the pilot’s seat in an indoor soccer stadium in Vaughn, Ontario, the Atlas reached a height of nearly 11 feet, stayed aloft for 64.11 seconds, and drifted only 32 feet. But it took a month for the results to be confirmed. “We’re very excited for the world to learn about this exciting milestone in aviation history,” Robertson wrote onAeroVelo’s blog today.
Don’t expect these bikecopters to be hitting the skies any time soon, though. We simply don’t have enough airspace.
Full story at The Verge.
A big day in aviation.
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