WATCH: Human-Powered Helicopter Takes Flight

Wins the $250,000 Sikorsky Prize

A human powered helicopter taking flight.     Photo: Aero Velo/YouTube

Officials with the Federation d'Aviation Intenationale—the governing body of international aeronautical prizes—have announced that a Kickstarter-funded team has won the Sikorsky Prize for flying a human-powered helicopter for more than a minute. For piloting the four-bladed craft, Canadian Todd Reichert and his team have won $250,000.

The Sikorsky Prize was established in 1980, mandating that a craft must fly 10 feet above the group within a horizontal area no bigger than 33 feet by 33 feet for at least 60 seconds to win. Reichert managed to pilot the helicopter at an indoor soccer stadium for 64 seconds.

The project got an early boost last year from a $30,000 Kickstarter campaign, but faced an uphill battle against a University of Maryland craft, called the Gamera, that met the Sikorsky altitude and duration minimums but failed to stay within the 33 feet by 33 feet requirement.

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