Students from the University of Maryland hope to keep a human-powered helicopter aloft for at least one minute today and win one of the most elusive prizes in aviation, the $250,000 Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter prize.
The 71-pound Gamera II is powered by a combination of hand and foot pedaling by a single pilot, who must keep the four-rotor helicopter aloft for 60 seconds and reach an altitude of at least 3 meters (9.8 feet) to win.
The Gamera II team already holds the record for the longest human-powered flight, at 65 seconds, and the highest altitude, at 9 feet, following a flight last summer but so far has not met all of the requirements of the Sikorsky prize in a single flight.
That could change today when the team attempts another flight. They can be followed on their Twitter feed.