Meet the Atlas! Before you run to conclusions, what we are talking about is a human powered helicopter designed by Canadian team Aerovelo. Atlas has proved its worth by bagging the $250,000 Sikorsky Prize of late.
The Sikorsky competition which came into being way back in 1980 requires that teams need to keep their helicopter suspended at least ten feet in the air for a minimum of 60 seconds.
After a series of failed attempts, AeroVelo’s Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson hit the bull’s eye, putting to an end to many aviation industry experts’ concern over any human-powered helicopter could meet the Sikorsky objectives .
Funding for Atlas was raised by AeroVelo through a Kickstarter project last year. There too, it fell a little behind other teams participating in the competition.
However, Reichert and Robertson finally made it when it mattered the most, clocking 64 seconds at 10.83 feet, before just a few seconds left to be thrown out of the competition. The flying tests were held in an indoor soccer field near Toronto.