Human ingenuity and machinery fascinates me…the bigger the machine the better. After 33 years the Sikorsky Â prize has finally been won.
A Canadian duo and their Kickstarter-funded, pedal-powered helicopter haveÂ won one of the longest-standing challengesÂ in the history of aviation â€” keeping a human-powered aircraft hovering up in the air at height of at least 9.8 feet, within a 32.8 by 32.8-foot square, for 60 seconds minimum. The challenge, known asÂ the Sikorsky prize, has withstood at numerous failed attempts since it was established in 1980, 33 years ago, even with a $250,000 bounty. But it was finally bested earlier in June by the Atlas, a gigantic human-powered helicopter designed by Cameron Robertson and Todd Reichert, aeronautical engineers from the University of Toronto, who cofounded a company AeroVelo.
The pair funded the construction of their winning aircraft through a successfulÂ Kickstarter campaign last year, and just barely managed to beat a rival team from the University of Maryland, whose craftÂ GameraÂ failed to stay within the square-foot range required by the prize, asÂ Popular MechanicsÂ reports. Â Read more »