These University of Maryland university students including Colin Gore, a PhD student in materials science have built a super lightweight quadracopter which with the furious pedalling of one skinny (and obviously fit) human pilot is able to fly. The contraption hovered for a full 40 seconds setting a world record in the process. Kyle Gluesenkamp went on to improve the flight time to 50seconds a day later and no doubt will continue to do so. This attempt is five times longer than the current official record of 11.4 seconds Judy Wexler set in Gamera I last summer (http://youtu.be/n-qFhcL9mg4), and over twice as long as the 19.4 seconds of Akira Naito’s Yuri I 1994 attempt (http://youtu.be/aR2CV1OeUdU).
This is testament to human ingenuity and the incredible advancement in materials. Hat’s off dudes and good luck with the American Helicopter Society International’s (AHS) Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Prize. You’re not far off the 60-seconds of flight and 3m (10 ft) altitude needed.
For the fun of it, I squashed the Atlantic’s article through Wordle to get the gist of it but go to The Atlantic’s original pre-Wordled post here.