Gamera II - Human Powered Copter Set to Break Record

First Posted: Jun 26, 2012 06:30 AM EDT

A talented team of 40 engineers from the University of Maryland's "A. James Clark Scholl of Engineering" are successfully making their way to the set the world record for the longest flight time by a human powered helicopter knocking down the existing world records.  Their very first attempt spanned 35 seconds.

The helicopter Gamera II that weighs about 71 Pound was in the air for about 50 seconds crossing the old record by 39 seconds, set last year. This remarkable creation is a 400 percent improvement on the 11.4 seconds air time that was achieved in 2011.

This significant creation by a team of outstanding engineers has brought the vision of a of human-powered flight one step closer to reality.

The aircraft consists of a stable X-shaped frame stretching across a length of 102 feet with four rotors that are 42 feet long, this new model Gamera II is crafted from carbon fibre, mylar plastic, balsa and foam. It weighs around 32kg that is 30 pounds less than the last year's model. This lightweight model which is powered by a solo pilot pedalling as fast as possible was designed to fly out for the American Helicopter Society's Igor I Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition. It is still unofficial as it will be validated by the National Aeronautic Association. The team hopes to grab a $250,000 prize for which Gamera II need to hover for a further 10 seconds to qualify for the American Helicopter Society Prize. 

The flight was piloted by Kyle Gluesenkamp, a PhD candidate in the Clark School's mechanical engineering department. However, despite pedalling ferociously during the record-breaking test flight Kyle does not appear to come close to the three-metre altitude rule.

Undoubtedly this jaw-dropping creation by the young and energetic team has left us spell bound and we hope that Gamera II steals the show at Surrey's Lasham Gliding on Society 13 July, 2012 as on this day the competition marks the 50th anniversary since the first human-powered flight took place. 

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