After more than three decades going untouched, the prize money for Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition has finally been won.
The Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition launched in 1980, offering $250,000 to the first team to create a helicopter that could be powered by a person. To win the prize, the craft had to hover above 3 meters for more than a minute along with several other requirements including the need to be powered and controlled by the crew the entire time.
The international competition was open to teams from anywhere across the world. But even that large of a range of entrants couldn't keep the prize from taking 33 years to be claimed.
So what team was able to successfully create a winning aircraft?
The Canadian flight team for AeroVelo launched their craft, the Atlas helicopter, on June 13. The total flight time was 64 seconds and it hovered up to 3.3 meters.
But the craft's pilot, Todd Reichert, told The Canadian Press that the the craft is definitely still in the testing stages.
"This isn't something that you're going to commute to work in any time soon, but it's an exercise in really pushing the limits on what's physically possible, and what you can do with lightweight materials and really creative design," Reichert said.
There were two other teams in the competition, including Gamera II team, which met the time requirement last year but missed the height requirement by less than one meter, Popular Science reports. But in the end, team Atlas was victorious, building a human-powered craft that the AHS describes as "larger than any operational helicopter ever constructed."
And with an entry fee of just $15, I'm sure they are glad they kept their eyes on that $250,000 prize.
Watch the Gamera II team launch its craft in the video below:
Treye Green is a reporter for The International Business Times and a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Green has shot, edited and...