September 24, 2013 -- AeroVelo's Atlas Human Powered Helicopter Sets New Records
(updated September 25)
AHS congratulates AHS Sikorsky Prize winners AeroVelo for two new unofficial world records that will be submitted for official FAI adjudication: (1) women's record of 55 seconds on September 24 and (2) men's endurance record of 87 seconds, limited by the powertrain line length, on September 23.
In addition, numerous "fun" records were also set, including youngest pilot (15 years old), oldest pilot (55 years old) who reached about 60 seconds, and most pilots making flights in one day (more than a dozen). Cameron Robertson, the chief structural engineer of the AeroVelo team also took the aircraft up for the first time. These flights were made on September 24. More details are available at www.twitter.com/AeroVelo.
A longer endurance record had been hoped for on September 24 by using longer, thinner drive lines. However, according to AeroVelo, with "the thinner drive lines, small power fluctuations seem to amplify any imbalance in the rotors. The flight was called down at 57 seconds."
About 30 flights were conducted over the two days, raising the total number to about 100 flights of the aircraft since its first flight in August 2012.
AeroVelo won the AHS Sikorsky Prize on June 13, 2013 (see www.vtol.org/aerovelo). This was a competition that had eluded the aerospace technical community for a third of a century.
The complete inside story is available at http://vtol.org/publications/vertiflite-magazine/the-atlas-hph