STRATFORD, CT, July 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today
congratulated AeroVelo Inc. in Toronto, Canada, for a flight that has
won the AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition, a
feat that brings a Sikorsky-sponsored prize of $250,000. Sikorsky is a
subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX). AHS and Sikorsky Aircraft presented the award at a special ceremony
today at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan, Ontario where the
record-breaking flight was conducted on June 13.
The Toronto-based AeroVelo (derived from the word aerodynamic and the
French term for bicycle) team is led by Dr. Todd Reichert, pilot and
chief engineer, and Cameron Robertson, co-chief engineer. The team,
comprised largely of students at the University of Toronto, beat the
33-year old challenge last month, flying its "Atlas" above 3 meters (9.8 feet) and hovering for approximately 64 seconds. Officials from the American
Helicopter Society (AHS) International verified the flight data over
the past few weeks and concluded it meets all of the criteria necessary
to win the competition.
The AHS first issued the human-powered flight challenge in 1980, with an
initial prize of $10,000. Since then, many teams have attempted to meet
the objective of creating a helicopter that could rise three meters and
hover over a 10-meter-by-10-meter box for one minute using only
"When Sikorsky increased the prize to a quarter-million dollars in May
2009, many people were skeptical and felt the challenge was
impossible," said Mark Miller, Vice President, Research and Engineering
for Sikorsky. "And that is exactly why we raised the stakes - to
encourage creative thinkers to prove that what is considered impossible
is often proven to be possible. That has been the philosophy of
Sikorsky Aircraft since the founding of our company by aviation pioneer
Igor Sikorsky 90 years ago. Congratulations to the AeroVelo team!"
"This is an incredible accomplishment," said Mike Hirschberg, executive
director of AHS International. "For a third of a century, the AHS
Sikorsky Prize has eluded the best minds and technology available. The
technological and theoretical advancements achieved in pursuit of our
challenge have been astounding."
"The past two years of the competition have been very exciting, with
several teams racing to best one another, and more flights than the
previous 30 years combined," said Benjamin Hein, Chairman of the AHS
Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Committee and a senior
engineer at Sikorsky Aircraft.
More than 20 human-powered helicopters have been designed and built
since the competition began, though only a handful have gotten off the
ground. Recent teams contending for the prize include the University of
Maryland's Gamera and the California Polytechnic State University team
with its Upturn aircraft. The most successful competitors from the
1980's and 1990's included a student team at California Polytechnic
State University with its DaVinci III helicopter and the team at Nihon
University flying the Yuri I, which previously held the world HPH
endurance record at 19.5 seconds.
AeroVelo's Atlas vehicle is the largest human-powered helicopter to have
flown, and the first in Canada, with each of its four rotors measuring
nearly 70 feet. The airframe is constructed of very light carbon tube
and polymer weighing only 115 lb, with a highly modified bicycle frame
pedaled by the pilot. It first flew in August 2012.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in
helicopter design, manufacture, and service. Its Sikorsky Innovations
group, part of Sikorsky's Research & Engineering organization, develops
advanced rotorcraft concepts and systems, including X2 Technology® , which has proven its ability to double the speed of today's
United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad
range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace
and building systems industries.
AHS International, based in Alexandria, Va., is the world's premier
professional vertical flight technical society. The organization brings
together industry, academia and governments to tackle the toughest
challenges in vertical flight.
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SOURCE: Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
For further information:
Marianne V. Heffernan
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
Cell: (203) 583-9760
Office: (203) 386-4373
Office: (703) 684-6777 x111