It sounds more like news out of 1813 than 2013, but it’s still pretty awesome to report that man has achieved flight! In a new video released by the Atlas AeroVelo team, the flight technicians show off their new airplane which manages to sustain flight for over a minute using only human power.
The machine is more helicopter than plane, and looks absolutely ridiculous. In fact, it looks like any number of “flight” machines you see plummet into the ocean in Redbull commercial. Astoundingly, this contraption which utilizes four separate helicopter-like spinning blades is able to keep the man elevated.
The pilot of the craft powers the plane via bike pedals. The one man’s frantic peddling sends enough power to the four blades to keep the entire contraption airborne.
The video and craft were AeroVelo’s entry into the AHS Sikorsky flight competition which has tasked engineers to produce man-powered airplanes since 1980. The Atlas AeroVelo team managed to keep the aircraft airborne for 61.4 seconds, shattering the previously help record. Who knows how long it will be until another craft dares to match the amazing showing AeroVelo produced.
There is still no news regarding Howard Hughes’ plan to charter the craft for commercial use.