Canadian startup Aerovelo just won the elusive $250,000 Sikorsky Prize with their incredible human-powered helicopter called Atlas! The Sikorsky rules—which were developed when the competition was launched in 1980—are daunting: they require teams to keep their helicopter suspended at least ten feet in the air for a minimum of 60 seconds, and, while there, they must remain within a 30×30 foot boundary. After several failed attempts, AeroVelo’s Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson finally hit the mark within ten seconds of the competition’s end. Watch the video after the jump!
AeroVelo raised funds for their Atlas helicopter through a Kickstarter project last year, finishing a little further behind than other teams competing in the competition. Many people in the Aviation industry wondered if they would ever see the day when a human-powered helicopter would achieve the Sikorsky objectives. Reichert and Robertson finally did, clocking 64 seconds at 10.83 feet literally within seconds of being kicked out of an indoor soccer field near Toronto where the flying tests were held.