A different kind of 'manned' Helicopter

Grey Havoc

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
16,644
Reaction score
6,198
Clark School Press Release Story

Clark School Team to Test Human-Powered Helicopter



MEDIA ADVISORY May 4, 2011

CONTACT:
Melissa Corley
301 405 6501
mcorley@umd.edu

For More Information:
E-Mail our media staff

or call 301.405.6501


WHAT: In a step toward winning the Sikorsky Prize, a team of A. James Clark School of Engineering students will attempt for the first time to test-fly their human-powered helicopter, called Gamera. Gamera has a rotor at each of the four ends of its X-shaped frame, with the pilot’s module suspended at the middle. Each crossbar of the frame is 60 feet long, and each rotor is 42 feet in diameter. Through the use of balsa, foam, mylar, carbon fiber and other lightweight materials, the entire vehicle weighs only 210 pounds, including the student pilot. All power comes from a combination of hand and foot pedaling. If Gamera makes it off the ground, the team has the potential to capture a world record for human-powered helicopter flight with a female pilot on board.


WHO: A team of more than 50 graduate and undergraduate students led by faculty advisors V.T. Nagaraj, Inderjit Chopra and Darryll Pines (dean of the Clark School). The pilot for the tests is University of Maryland life sciences graduate student Judy Wexler. The Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center in the Clark School is one of the nation’s top rotorcraft research institutions.


WHEN: Reporters and photographers are invited to watch the team test the vehicle between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11.


WHERE: Comcast Center Auxiliary Gym, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
Directions to Parking (CALL AHEAD for parking information)


WHY: The team has been working for two years to compete for the Sikorsky Prize, run by the American Helicopter Society (AHS). The Clark School team is the only team currently sanctioned by the AHS for making an official attempt. No team has succeeded since the prize was first offered in 1980.

http://www.eng.umd.edu/html/media/release.php?id=104


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT4y4xb2UYI&feature=player_embedded



[PHOTO CREDIT: A.J Clark School of Engineering]
 

Attachments

  • Gamera_white-md.jpg
    Gamera_white-md.jpg
    36.3 KB · Views: 1,215

Nik

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
507
Reaction score
161
I would not have thought that even an Olympic-grade cyclist could generate enough power for more than a 'bounce'...
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,225
Reaction score
803
What really stuns me is that it takes a vehicle 1/3 of a football field to be able to take up the challenge.. and this with a lightweight pilot and no payload whatsoever... Doesn't make for practical applications, does it? Art for art's sake, if you ask me, but nice try anyway.
 

Grey Havoc

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
16,644
Reaction score
6,198
Latest news: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/university-of-maryland-team-to-test-human-powered-helicopter-in-pursuit-of-prize-world-record/2011/05/11/AFhofrmG_story.html
 

Machdiamond

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
328
Reaction score
18
Stargazer2006 said:
Doesn't make for practical applications, does it? Art for art's sake, if you ask me, but nice try anyway.

Keep in mind that this is an engineering school project, they are in this not to make money but to educate their students.

I find this idea excellent and very motivating for them.

Pushing the limit on lightweight structures is something you can apply elsewhere later on. Not necessarily the technology itself but the thought process.

--Luc
 

Grey Havoc

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
16,644
Reaction score
6,198
Posted at 07:17 PM ET, 05/12/2011
Maryland’s human-powered helicopter takes off
By Jenna Johnson

Finally! After days of adjusting, rebuilding, testing and super-gluing, a human-powered helicopter at the University of Maryland left the ground for about four seconds late Thursday afternoon.

It was the third known time a human-powered craft has left the ground, and the first time a woman has been in the pilot’s seat.

“It was beautiful,” said Brandon Bush, 29, a U-Md. doctoral student and a project manager. “It jumped up, and it stayed there.”

For years, U-Md. engineering students and faculty members have been working on the light-weight helicopter, which they named Gamera after a monstrous flying turtle that starred in Japanese films.

Take-off was first scheduled for Wednesday morning, so a crowd of journalists and supporters gathered in a campus gym. That crowd thinned and thinned as test flight after test flight failed to result in take-off. (You can read the story I wrote for Thursday’s paper about those attempts.)

After a series of small successes Wednesday afternoon, like powering the rotors to more than 16 rotations per minute, the students worked through the night and returned Thursday morning.

There were small successes throughout the day, like momentary jumps off the ground that might have been take-offs. As the team moved the Gamera back into place after for a final test, one of the arms snapped. The team tiredly super-glued it back together. As the glue dried, the gym emptied.

“Even our own team members had started to leave,” Bush said.

During their final attempt at about 5:30 p.m., the Gamera suddenly left the ground. Everyone cheered. An engineering college spokeswoman tweeted: “She did it!!!!!!! #Gamera.”

Officials still have to review video tape from the flight to see exactly how long Gamera was in the air, but a representative of the National Aeronautic Association estimates it was about four seconds.

It wasn’t enough to win the elusive Sikorsky Award, a $250,000 prize that will be given to the first engineers who can build a human-powered helicopter that can reach an altitude of at least three meters and hover for at least 60 seconds. The challenge was issued in 1980, but so far no one has succeed.

In 1989, students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo built a helicopter that hovered for 7.1 seconds. In 1994, students at Nihon University in Japan flew a helicopter for 19.46 seconds.

The U-Md. students constructed a helicopter that was similar to the one built in Japan: a lightweight X-shaped frame with a set of rotor blades at each point, and the pilot suspended in a cockpit in the middle.

But Gamera’s blades are about 30 percent longer than its predecessor, and the students lightened the frame by using carbon fiber, foam, Mylar and other materials. Instead of just a foot crank, the students added a hand crank, too. They also planned to hover close to the floor to benefit from the “extreme ground effect.”

Thursday evening, the engineering students dismantled the Gamera — and planned where to go to celebrate.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/campus-overload/post/marylands-human-powered-helicopter-takes-off/2011/05/12/AFxjPV1G_blog.html


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q70tM5sDQhc&feature=player_embedded
(From University of Maryland press release)

http://www.eng.umd.edu/html/news/news_story.php?id=5726
 

Grey Havoc

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
16,644
Reaction score
6,198
http://www.eng.umd.edu/html/news/news_story.php?id=6589

Older story: http://www.eng.umd.edu/html/news/news_story.php?id=6581
 

Grey Havoc

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
16,644
Reaction score
6,198
http://www.gizmag.com/naa-confirms-gamera2-june-flight-record/23669/
 

Grey Havoc

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
16,644
Reaction score
6,198
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/02/gamera-ii-sikorsky-prize/
 

Grey Havoc

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
16,644
Reaction score
6,198
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,17713.0.html
 

hesham

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2006
Messages
28,348
Reaction score
5,982
Here is anther HPH;

http://jeffwise.net/2012/06/04/the-toughest-challenge-in-aviation/
 

Attachments

  • a.png
    a.png
    39 KB · Views: 201

Similar threads

Top