In 1980, the American Helicopter Society started a competition for the first aviator to come up with a difficult design: a helicopter that could rise higher than 10 feet and hover for more than a minute – relying on human power only.
Finally, this month, a group of students and professionals made aviation history, using pedal power to fly their helicopter into the record books. Team AeroVelo, which is based at the University of Toronto, made a helicopter with multiple rotors and a pedal system similar to a conventional bike, earning a $250,000 prize.
In this story, host Dick Gordon speaks with Team AeroVelo’s Cameron Robertson about the team’s design and how competition spurs innovation.
Here's the Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Prize winning flight: