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Human-powered helicopters are a very fascinating thing and while they are not a mainstream concept yet, they may gain traction in the future, some day. To this end, students from the Clark School of Engineering at University of Maryland will definitely have a huge role. That’s because these students were able to make their Gamera II helicopter hover in the air for full 50 seconds.

The flight of 50 seconds for a human-powered helicopter is the longest yet and with it, Gamera II has broken the previous flight records. However, to bag the hefty $250,000 AHS Sikorsky Prize, the flight needed to be at least 60 seconds. So Gamera II fell short of a mere 10 seconds of flight.

This exquisite Gamera II helicopter, which was used in the contest, comprises of a unique design so that it can be powered through pedaling manually. Although it measures 105 feet wide, being fairly large, it’s weight is a mere 71 pounds, which is precisely what makes it possible to be powered by human-pedaling.

Due to its size, its a pretty difficult task to control the aircraft. The original Gamera model had taken an 11-second flight. So despite a lot of malfunctions and setbacks, the students from Clark School of Engineering were able to accomplish a mighty task in that they have bumped the flight duration to 50 seconds now.

Source: Gamera Human Powered Helicopter Project

Courtesy: The Verge

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  On June 25, 2012(3 years, 3 months ago.)

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