Human-powered copter set duration record

June 25, 2012 at 8:44 PM

COLLEGE PARK, Md., June 25 (UPI) -- A University of Maryland team, one of three building human-powered helicopters, says it set an unofficial record of 50 seconds airborne in its Gamera II design.

The student team from Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering said its record would become official once verified by the National Aeronautic Association.

The Maryland team currently holds the record of 11.4 seconds set last July, and is one of three teams competing in the American Helicopter Society Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition for a $250,000 prize, TG Daily reported Monday.

To win the prize, a human-powered helicopter must lift off and hover for 60 seconds and must attain an altitude of at least 3 meters, almost 10 feet, at some point during the 60-second flight.

The Gamera II helicopter is pedal-powered, with four 42-foot rotors at each end of a 60-foot central X-shaped frame. Made with balsa, foam, mylar, and carbon fiber, the vehicle weighs 101 pounds.

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