The Washington Post

New record for U-Md. human-powered helicopter: 12.4-second flight

But for the University of Maryland engineering students who watched as their 100-pound, human-powered helicopter floated off a gym floor Wednesday, it must have felt like eternity.

(Helicopter pilot, Judy Wexler, center, prepares to test a human-powered helicopter named "Gamera" in May. (Photo by Matt McClain/For The Washington Post))

While Wednesday’s time still has to be verified by the National Aeronautic Association, it is clear that the university is still far from claiming the $250,000 Sikorsky Award, which will go to whomever creates a human-powered helicopter that can reach an altitude of at least three meters and hover for at least 60 seconds

To prepare for flights this week, U-Md. students studied their May attempts, enhanced the helicopter cockpit and transmission, and added LED lights that turn on when the helicopter is off the ground.(My previous coverage)

You can read more about Wednesday’s flight on the U-Md. A. James Clark School of Engineering Web site. And check out the cell phone video of the flight (after the jump):

Can’t get enough Campus Overload? You can also fan the blog on Facebook and follow Jenna on Twitter. And if you are a summer intern, check out The Post’s Intern City.

Jenna Johnson is a political reporter who is covering the 2016 presidential campaign.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.