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13 of June 2013

Rotor wing history was written on this day in aviation history, in 2013. The AeroVelo flew the Atlas HPH for 64.11 seconds reaching a peak altitude of 11 ft (3.3 m) and drifted 32 ft in the hover. (HPH = Human Powered Helicopter)

The AeroVelo Atlas HPH in flight

The data of this flight was submitted to a panel of experts who reviewed it and compared it to the requirements to win the AHS International's Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition, established in 1980. On the 11th of July 2013, it was announced that the criteria of the competition were met and AeroVelo won the competition, and with that received the $ 250.000 price money. which they partly donated to the New England Air Museum.

AeroVelo is a team of students from the University of Toronto, Canada. They developed the Atlas HPH as a follow up of the Snowbird (a human-powered Ornithopter)

The Atlas is the largest Human Powered Helicopter ever flown. It has a tip to tip rotor span of 154 ft (47 m) second only to the massive Russian Mil V-12 (67 meters or 219 ft)

Mil V-12 Helicopter


Atlas HPH Size comparison

During the initial stage of the flight, 1.1 kW of power was generated by the pedalling pilot (Todd Reichert), this made it climb to the required 3 m (9.8 ft) altitude. The design of the Atlas was for a great part using the ground effect. The control of the helicopter was achieved by leaning the bike which made the helicopter flex and with that the rotor axes.


Some specifications of the Atlas HPH Crew: 1

Empty weight: 55 kg (122 lb)

Gross weight: 128 kg (282 lb)

Powerplant: 1 × human , 1.1 kW (1.5 hp)

Main rotor diameter: 4× 20.2 m (66 ft 2 in)

Main rotor area: 1,282 m2 (13,768 sq ft)

Service ceiling: 3.3 m (11 ft)


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