University of Maryland students flew past a world record after the human-powered helicopter Gamera hovered more than twelve seconds inside the campus' Reckord Armory in early July.
Pilot and biology student Judy Wexler set the world record for longest human-powered flight by a woman. She also broke the national record for longest human-powered flight
The previous national record was only four seconds. Gamera set this milestone earlier this year inside the university's Comcast Center.
A twelve-second flight was completed on July 12. Gamera had crashed the day before, forcing the engineering team to spend all night repairing the helicopter.
Professor Inderjit Chopra says Gamera is continuously modified and repaired. He knows more improvements are to come, with another flight expected within the next six months.
The goal is to win the Sikorsky Prize, a $250,000 reward given by the American Helicopter Society. In order to win, a human-powered helicopter must fly at least thirty seconds, hover at least three meters above ground, and not drift outside a ten-meter square.
Contacts and sources:
University of Maryland
Story by Sean McCalley