28-Aug-2012 Source: A. James Clark School of Engineering
Larger Space to Allow for Longer, Higher Flights
The following advisory is from the A. James Clark School of Engineering:
WHAT: A team of A. James Clark School of Engineering students will fly a modified version of their human-powered helicopter, Gamera II, in a much larger space than in previous flight attempts. Gamera II is an improved version of Gamera I, which last year set world records for flight duration. Like Gamera I, and the previous version of Gamera II, the craft to be flown this week is an enormous hand- and pedal-powered X-shaped vehicle that has four rotors and is 114 feet across diagonally. Gamera II weighs only 76 pounds and features enhanced rotor design, an improved transmission and a redesigned cockpit. The team expects that Gamera II is capable of flights lasting longer than 60 seconds, a major step towards competing for the Sikorsky Prize and remaining ahead of competitors. Learn more about Gamera II here: http://www.agrc.umd.edu/gamera/gamera2/index.html
WHO: A team of more than 40 graduate and undergraduate students led by faculty advisors V.T. Nagaraj, Inderjit Chopra, Gordon Leishman and Darryll Pines (dean of the Clark School, one of the nation’s top rotorcraft research institutions). This year, there are three pilots participating in the flights: Henry Enerson, Kyle Gluesenkamp and Colin Gore. All three are UMD staff or students.
WHEN: Reporters and photographers are invited to watch the team test the vehicle between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 30.
WHERE: The team will be flying in a new, much larger space that will allow for the vehicle to drift farther (and hence potentially fly longer and higher) than in previous flights.
WHY: The team has been working for three years to compete for the Sikorsky Prize, offered by the American Helicopter Society. The Clark School team is one of at least three teams planning to attempt flights this summer. No team has succeeded since the prize was first offered in 1980.