Al Marsh

Human-powered helo pedals towards goal

June 20, 2012 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

University of Maryland pilot Colin Gore pedals and cranks for history

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.

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19 Responses to “Human-powered helo pedals towards goal”

  1. Bob Says:

    Gamera is a giant flying turtle from Japaneese films, not a frog. Which makes a lot of sense name-wise when you realize UMD’s mascot is a turtle.

  2. Al Marsh Says:

    Thanks. Actually I was aware it was a turtle but had “frog” on my mind for some reason. Greater explanation here: http://tinyurl.com/6o5x6un

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