These University of Maryland students may be the ones to make the centuries-old dream of human-powered air travel a reality.
Competing for the Sikorsky Prize-- a $25,000 reward established in 1980 for whoever can build a man-powered chopper that hovers for 60 seconds and can reach a 3 meter altitude -- the students worked for about two years to create Gamera, the massive yet elegant vehicle shown in the video above. Powered by a bicycle rig and spanning what looks like half a basketball court with four large blades, Gamera doesn't look like anything from Davinci's old drawings or the black and white photographs from the pre-Wright Brothers era.
In a test flight, the innovative helicopter set a world record just by hovering off the ground at all. Watch above at around the 3:00 mark to see it in action.