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AeroVelo Human-Powered Helicopter Wins Elusive $250,000 Sikorsky Prize!

by , 07/31/13

Atlas, AeroVelo, human-powered helicopter, green transportation, clean tech, Sikorsky Prize, Toronto, collegiate design competition, sustainable design, eco-design, design competitions, human-powered helicopter competition

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.

+ AeroVelo

Via Popular Mechanics

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6 Comments

  1. DrMarcelli April 13, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Great! I You He She It We You They are the World!

  2. Savin Wangtal July 14, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    @Tom Horn
    I doubt it will work outdoors. The thing seems to be all about high surface area, light weight, and has no control system. A strong wind would do interesting (albeit horrible) things to the device.

    But wow, that was pretty dang cool. I wonder how hard the rider had to pedal the thing. Those propellers must be pretty dang heavy, not to mention the air resistance.

  3. Eletruk July 12, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Probably for soccer practice.
    Much more important than aeronautical history.

  4. Tom Horn July 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Will the thing work outdoors? Sure seemed lie an awfully complicated device just to levitate around the indoors.

  5. bojamajams July 11, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    That’s amazing! Go Canada!

  6. SpecialEFX SpecialEFX July 11, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I’m curious….why were they being kicked out of the indoor soccer field???

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