Human-powered helicopter first to win 33-year-old US prize
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A Canadian-built helicopter that is powered by a human riding a bicycle has become the first winner of a decades-old US$250,000 (S$316,255) engineering prize, the US awarder said on Friday.
The American Helicopter Society (AHS) had never given out its Igor Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Award - initiated 33 years ago - until the team from the University of Toronto snatched it this week.
The challenge was to create a flying machine that would be able to reach a height of 3m, fly for 60 seconds by human power alone, and stay in a 10m by 10m area.
"It was long seen as impossible to win this," AHS International executive director Mike Hirschberg told AFP.