The First Human-Powered Helicopter Wins 33-Year-Old Prize – Video

The contraption has a 47-meter wingspan but weighs just 54 kilograms

A competition thought up in 1980 has finally been won. The AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter prize was won after 33 years by a team of Canadians.

If you're wondering why it took so long, that's because the challenge was to build the first completely human-powered helicopter.

While Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the first to envision a helicopter-like contraption powered by humans alone, it's only now, hundreds of years later that someone managed to do it.

There have been dozens of designs and attempts at the prize and a few teams came close, but AeroVelo's entry proved the best in the end.

"AeroVelo Atlas Human-Powered Helicopter captured the long standing AHS Sikorsky Prize with a flight lasting 64.1 seconds and reaching an altitude of 3.3 metres," the AeroVelo group said.

It's not just a technical achievement, though the team used materials like carbon fiber tubes to build the very light craft which weighs just 54 kb (120 pounds), the real challenge was a physical one, lifting the craft off the ground requires quite a lot of pedaling and maneuvering it is even harder.

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