A few months ago (June, to be exact), a pilot was able to keep the human-powered Gamera II in the air for a 50 seconds. While that sounds very impressive (and it is), it only soaring slightly over the ground. However this flight, while shorter in duration, achieved a record by hovering 8 feet in the air. More information and a video of the demonstration after the break.
You ask yourselves, “why spend so much time on such a project?” Well, first, it’s awesome; second, the team is seeking the goal of winning the Sikorsky Prize. The Sikorsky Prize is a $250,000 prize that has been unclaimed since 1980, and is to be awarded to the first person/people who can create a man-made flying apparatus that can reach a height of 10 feet and keep up that distance for one minute. While the Gamera II hasn’t reached either of those criteria yet (mainly at the same time), it seems to be getting pretty close to accomplishing both tasks at once. Even though $250,000 is some very nice bank, the design, construction, and implementation of a human-powered flying machine that can at least meets those requirements is the true reward in the ever-evolving word of tech. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, everyone.