daltec (674408) writes "While many aerospace engineers thought it could not be done, the AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter competition has been won, after 33 years of trying. Canada's AeroVelo has claimed the $250,000 prize, having successfully met the contest requirements for an aircraft using only human power to fly for at least 60 seconds, reach an altitude of at least 3 meters (9.8 feet) and remain hovering over a 10 by 10 meter (32.8 by 32.8 foot) area.
"Atlas," AeroVelo's winning design, is said to be larger than any operational helicopter ever constructed, based on its overall width of 58 meters (190 feet), even though it weighs only 52 kilograms (115 pounds). It has four 20.4 meter (67 foot) diameter rotors that are powered by the pilot pedaling a Cervelo carbon-fiber bicycle. The Atlas project was begun in January 2012 and made its first flight in August 2012.
AeroVelo is one of three teams recently flying as part of the AHS competition. The others are the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland with its Gamera II helicopter, and California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California with its Upturn II aircraft.
There is a video of the winning flight here. Congratulations to AeroVelo on this landmark achievement!"