Video: Canadian engineers create world’s first human-powered helicopter 10 years ago

Video: Canadian engineers create world’s first human-powered helicopter

A group of engineers at the University of Toronto have won a 33-year-old prize worth $250,000 after they created the world’s first human-powered helicopter.


A group of Canadian engineers have finally won the Igor I Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition, which was launched in 1980 by the American Helicopter Society (AHS). The rules of the competition stated that the helicopter must be a human-powered vehicle capable of hovering for at least 60 seconds, reach at least 3 metres in height, and stay within an area 10 metres by 10 metres.

The prize was awarded to the winning team, the AeroVelo project, led by Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson.

Speaking to the Canadian Press, Reichert said, "This isn't something that you're going to commute to work in any time soon, but it's an exercise in really pushing the limits on what's physically possible, and what you can do with lightweight materials and really creative design.

"Winning this competition really is a catalyst to keep doing the things we love. Our goal is to take on projects that really inspire people to follow big dreams."


It’s a bit surprising that it took 33 years for someone to win the award, but a handy way to bag $250,000 all the same.