August 15, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
The National Aeronautic Association has certified a duration record for human-powered helicopter flight claimed by a team from the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering for a flight on June 21 in College Park, Md.
Pilot Kyle Gluesenkamp, a Ph.D. candidate in the Clark School’s mechanical engineering department, provided the power, pedaling the program’s lightweight, four-rotor aircraft, Gamera II and remaining airborne for 49.9 seconds. The flight achieved a new record in the human-powered class, rotorcraft subclass, said Art Greenfield, NAA’s director of contests and records.
The team remains focused on refining the aircraft’s design to capture the $250,000 American Helicopter Society’s Sikorsky Prize, said Clark School Dean Darryll Pines in a news release after the June flight. Earning the Sikorsky prize would require Gamera II to fly a full minute in a hover, reach a height of three meters at some point during the minute, and remain within a 10-square-meter area during the flight.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
Piper’s latest edition of the Meridian pressurized turboprop features updated avionics and six seats in club configuration for $2.26 million.
Commercial flight planning service FltPlan and Angel Flight West are integrating so that the nonprofit organization can match passenger needs with volunteer pilots’ existing flight schedules.
Two veteran balloonists were aloft above the Pacific Ocean in a bid to break the world’s distance record for a gas balloon flight.
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