A human-powered helicopter is a type of Human-powered aircraft and is designed to carry at least one person. It is limited to using the power provided by the person(s) on board, usually by pedalling. A high power-to-weight ratio is needed, as in all helicopters. Such aircraft must be light and must have efficient rotary wings. Efficiency for human powered purposes means that the rotors must generate great lift but cause little drag, because drag consumes power.
The Sikorsky Prize
The American Helicopter Society's Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition has not yet been awarded. It will be awarded to the first entry to reach an altitude of 3 m (10 ft) during a flight lasting at least 60 seconds, while remaining within a 10 m (32.8 ft) x 10 m (32.8 ft) square, and complying with other competition requirements.
Da Vinci III
Previously the world record for human-powered helicopters was held by a craft named Yuri I, built by a team from the Nihon Aero Student Group (NASG). In 1994, it achieved a height of 20 cm for 19.46 seconds unassisted, and unofficially reached 70 cm during a flight lasting 24 seconds. In Japanese, the name Yuri means "lily", a reference to the shape of the machine.
The current official world record for a flight of 65.1 seconds is held by a team of researchers at University of Maryland. On 11 May 2011 pilot Judy Wexler became airborne a few inches above the ground for about 4 seconds in an earlier model of the aircraft. The flight is officially considered by the FAI to be the first flight of a human-powered helicopter by a female. On 21 June 2012, the Gamera II Helicopter was flown by cyclist and Maryland graduate student Kyle Gluesenkamp in a flight lasting 50.0 seconds. On August 28, 2012, University of Maryland freshman Henry Enerson flew the Gamera II to a world record height of 8 ft (2.4 m) above ground level.
On 24 June 2012, the NTS Works Upturn human-powered helicopter also successfully flew for 10 seconds, climbing to about 2 ft (0.6 m). In October 2012, NTS Works donated the Upturn to students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where plans for another Sikorsky Prize attempt have been brewing for several years. The new project, named Upturn II, will continue testing and development of the Upturn design.
On 28 August 2012 [AeroVelo Atlas] became the fifth human-powered helicopter to fly.
- Human-powered aircraft
- Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition
- University of Maryland Gamera Human Powered Helicopter
- Competition regulations
- Da Vinci III
- Yuri I
- "FAI Record ID #16616". Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- "Human-Powered Helicopter Flies". Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- "FAI Record ID #16230". Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- "Gamera, University of Maryland". Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- AHS International article about Upturn
- "Upturn has a new home". NTS Works. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Atlas Flight Testing Summary 3 Oct. 2012". AeroVelo. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition
- www.HumanPoweredHelicopters.org Information on the technology, history and people involved in human-powered helicopters
- Information on different drive trains for human powered helicopters