On May 12, 2011, biology student and female pilot Judith Wexler established the first ever FAI world record in this type of aircraft by flying the human -powered helicopter “Gamera I” for 4.2 seconds in College Park, MD (USA).
The “Gamera Project” was created in an attempt to realise the goal of human-powered hovering flight.
The design and construction of Gamera I involved more than fifty graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Maryland’s Department of Aerospace Engineering’s Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Centre.
- The total weight of this quadrotor helicopter, including the pilot, was around 95.25kg.
- It was made of several lightweight composites and foam. It was made up of four rotor-equipped trusses.
- The rotors are driven by both hand and foot pedalling for optimum performance.
Because the plane was so enormous, four cameras were set up to film the attempt.
Three criteria are critical for such records: design, weight, and power.
Reduce the weight of the aircraft, improve the effectiveness of the rotor design, and select a pilot of the proper size and strength are all crucial for increasing altitude and time in the air.
Since May 2011, there haven’t been many records set in this unique category. With “Gamera II,” a refinement of “Gamera I,” Judith managed to surpass her own record two months after the first.
Justin Mauch, who was airborne only two years ago, now holds the current record.
The massive increase in flight length between the first and most recent records demonstrates how significant and rapid human-powered flight has progressed.
The FAI Sporting Code defines Human Powered aircraft as an aerodyne that takes off and stays airborne solely by the use of direct human muscular energy.
It may not use a static support system like as gas or hot air, nor may it carry any apparatus that could receive energy during flight, though such equipment may be used to store muscular energy after take-off.
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