Aircraft

Gamera II human-powered helicopter flight record confirmed by NAA

Gamera II human-powered helico...
The National Aeronautic Association has confirmed a new national record of 49.9 seconds for human-powered helicopter flight for the Gamera II flight on June 21
The National Aeronautic Association has confirmed a new national record of 49.9 seconds for human-powered helicopter flight for the Gamera II flight on June 21
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The National Aeronautic Association has confirmed a new national record of 49.9 seconds for human-powered helicopter flight for the Gamera II flight on June 21
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The National Aeronautic Association has confirmed a new national record of 49.9 seconds for human-powered helicopter flight for the Gamera II flight on June 21
Gamera II at the University of Maryland's Reckord Armory in June
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Gamera II at the University of Maryland's Reckord Armory in June
The A. James Clark School of Engineering's Gamera II team
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The A. James Clark School of Engineering's Gamera II team
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The unofficial human-powered helicopter flight record set by Kyle Gluesenkamp from the A. James Clark School of Engineering's Gamera II team on June 21 2012 has just been ratified by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). The new national record has now been submitted to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale for approval as a new world record.

We closed our recent coverage of the record attempts with news that the footage of Gamera II team's astounding 50 second flight time was awaiting examination and confirmation by NAA officials. The anxious wait is now over and, in the end, the scrutineers shaved off one tenth of a second to certify the new official national record as 49.9 seconds. The flight information has now been sent off to be considered for the world record crown. Our congratulations go out to all the University of Maryland students involved.

The Gamera II team will fly again later this month to try and smash through the 60-second barrier and head toward claiming the elusive Sikorsky Prize of US$250,000 set by the American Helicopter Society, which also states that the craft must reach an altitude of three meters (9.84 feet) at some point during the flight to claim the cash.

Refinements to Gamera II are currently being undertaken and reports are coming in of a successful (if unofficial) 70-second test flight having taken place this week. We'll keep you updated on progress.

Source: Gamera II team

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15 comments
seanw
With the propellers like that, is it really achieving flight, or is it just ground effect?
John Stone
Human-powered flight is the most idiotic and useless activity to focus on. It is completely impractical, you will never fly to work in one of these contraptions. This is about as sensible as making a human-powered car.
Joe Blake
"Human-powered flight is the most idiotic and useless activity to focus on. It is completely impractical..." It's also one of mankind's most powerful dreams. http://www.gizmag.com/go/1525/ Just under 200 km in 4 hours over the Mediterranean is not impractical.
Slowburn
They should have put a power lifter or sprinter on it.
Slowburn
re; John Stone They are achieving rotary-wing flight on a extremely limited energy budget an you see no value in this?
Angel G
It's only achieving ground effect, but many consider getting off the ground at all as "flight". Also, it may not be a practical transportation device, but the research and development involved has the potential for developing new technologies and flight efficiency that may be adapted to more practical uses, so I think it's worth the endeavor. Not to mention the education and experience that those involved are getting. And I think the pedal cab is a pretty useful invention.
cachurro
Kids have lots of fun in human powered cars and trikes.
Daishi
@seanw yes they really did achieve flight. @John Stone Human powered flight itself is impractical but the design efficiency required to make it happen is impressive and could have other applications.
mhmm
@John Stone Something like a human-powered car does exist... It's called a bicycle. Their are also human powered water-craft called paddle boats and row boats. It is not completely out of the realm of possibility that somebody might be able to somehow channel human energy in a way that makes human-powered flight possible.
JPAR
would there be a net gain if solar panels were added? i.e. energy created more than offsets the additional weight?