Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows



Canadians Build Human-Powered Helicopter And Win Elusive $250,000 Prize
July 12, 2013
submit to reddit

It's been over 30 years since the American Helicopter Society established the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Challenge, and no one has ever won the $250,000 prize.

Until now.

Two Canadians, Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson, founded an aeronautical engineering startup called Aerovelo that has won the big money.

Funded by Kickstarter, Aerovelo has been working on a human-powered helicopter called Atlas, which features four massive rotors powered by bicycle pedals.

human-powered-helicopter-side.jpgOn June 13, at an indoor soccer stadium near Toronto, the team got their project off the ground. Literally.

The successful flight lasted 64 seconds and achieved a maximum altitude of 3.3 metres.

In order to qualify for the Sikorsky Prize, the helicopter must rise to at least three metres, remain airborne for over one minute, and stay within a horizontal area no bigger than 10 metres by 10 metres.

The Federation dAviation Internationale (FAI) certified that the flight - which was piloted by Reichert - met the qualifications for the $250,000 prize.

But it almost didn't happen. The successful flight took place at the end of five days of testing, and there were only minutes left before the team had to be out of the stadium to make way for an evening soccer practice.

The company's Kickstarter campaign raised more than $30,000 last spring, which was used to build Atlas's airframe.

Via Popular Mechanics


Why Walk When You Can Fly?

German Railways Plan To Use Drones To Catch Graffiti Artists

U.S. Stealth Helicopter Used In Bin Laden Raid


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.