U-Md. pedal-copter bid unable to capture $250,000 prize

April 28, 2013

The University of Maryland says its human-powered helicopter flew for 58 seconds.

But that was not enough to win the $250,000 Sikorsky Prize on Sunday. The prize requires a flight of longer than 60 seconds that reaches an altitude of 10 feet.

University officials say damage to helicopter blades on Saturday and Sunday required a few hours of repair, which limited what the team could accomplish. Spokesman Ted Knight said the team is planning to regroup and consider future attempts. The pedal-powered helicopter was flown at a sports complex in Prince George’s County.

The Sikorsky Prize has remained unclaimed since its creation in 1980.

Last year, the team captured the world record with a flight lasting 65 seconds that reached nine feet. A Canadian team also is vying for the prize.

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