Not just any helicopter, this human-powered version by students at University of Maryland just broke a record for staying off the ground for approximately 50-seconds. It “has a width of 105 feet and each of the four rotors has a span of just over 42 feet, 7 inches. But despite the size of the Gamera II, it weighs just 71 pounds.” Continue reading for the video and more information.
Carbon fiber rods and thread are used to create small trusses that in turn make the four large trusses that spread from the cockpit. At the end of each truss is a rotor that is perched just above the ground. With the rotors located close to the ground, the team can take advantage of ground effect, an aerodynamic condition where there’s a reduction in induced drag from the lift generated by the rotors. With the rotors spinning at just 20 revolutions per minute, less than one horsepower is needed to hover at 2 feet above the ground.