Gamera II: Human-Powered Helicopter Makes Record 50 Second Flight (VIDEO)

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

The dream of human-powered flight - as opposed to the similar but critically different dream of falling in style - has come one step closer to reality.

A team from the University of Maryland has flown a human-powered helicopter for a new record of 50 seconds.

The Gamera II craft beat the old record by 39 seconds, set last year.

If the team can get the craft to stay aloft for 60 seconds, reach an altitude of 3 meters and stay within a 10m square area, it will claim a $250,000 prize from the American Helicopter Society.

The flight was piloted by Kyle Gluesenkamp, a PhD candidate in the Clark School's mechanical engineering department.

The Gamera II is a very light-weight, but quite large, fixed wing helicopter.

But at 105 feet wide, with four rotors and weighing around 70 pounds it still looks like incredibly hard work to power.

Wired has a full report on all of the details, but you can take a look at the critical flight in the video, above