UPDATE: Gamera hovered for 50 seconds before flying tests ended.
The kids at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering have done it again, hovering a human-powered helicopter powered by a male cyclist for 35 seconds. To win the American Helicopter Society Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition (why must everything have three names?) they must hover a full minute, achieve a height of three meters at some point during the minute, and stay within a 10-square-meter area during the flight. Do that, and a school could win $250,000. Pilot and pedaler Colin Gore achieved an important second step on June 20 by staying aloft 35 seconds. Here’s a YouTube video of the event. They call the helicopter Gamera after a monster frog from a Japanese sic-fi film. Here’s the turtle’s home page. The university’s Judy Wexler took the first step last summer when she pedaled into the record books by the first and longest flight (11.4 seconds) for a woman.