Aero Press Release Story

UMD's Gamera Student Team Aims for $250K AHS Sikorsky Prize for Human Powered Helicopter Flight, April 27-28

University of Maryland Engineering Students Set To Fly Again in Landover, Md.

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Ted Knight
410 703 4685

WHAT:      On April 27-28, 2013, the University of Maryland’s record-setting human-powered helicopter, and the student team that designed, built and flies it, will be in the Prince George's County Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, MD for flight attempts to try and win a long-unreachable prize -- the $250,000 AHS Sikorsky Prize. The flights will be observed by officials from the NAA (National Aeronautic Association) and the AHS (American Helicopter Society). LIMITED MEDIA AVAILABILITY: MEDIA MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE - EMAIL

BACKGROUND:     In August 2012, Team Gamera set an officially certified world record for duration (65.1 seconds) of a human powered helicopter with their Gamera II XR aircraft, and an unofficial world record for altitude (9 feet). Both flights were significant improvements over all previous human powered helicopter flights and garnered wide national and international attention.

Gamera's team of 51 graduate and undergraduate UMD students now has its sights set on winning the prestigious AHS Sikorsky Prize (, which has remained unclaimed since its inception in 1980. The prize requires a "perfect flight" of over 60 seconds in which the vehicle reaches 3 meters altitude (10 ft.) and remains hovering within a 10 meter x 10 meter box.

WHEN:      On Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28, the team’s flight attempts will be open to media and members of the public from 12:00-4:00 pm and can be photographed or video recorded. All members of the public and media must remain inside the space designated by caution tape. The public must remain within space designated by caution tape at all times. During flight attempts and while the team is busy preparing for flight, media must remain in the media area designated by caution tape on the floor unless escorted to other areas of the floor, during breaks between flight attempts. During some of the periods between flights, Gamera team members will come over to the media area to offer interviews. If one of the Gamera flights meets or exceeds the prize requirements, team members will be available following the winning flight.  LIMITED MEDIA AVAILABILITY: REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED - EMAIL

WHERE:       Prince George's County Sports and Learning Complex, 8001 Sheriff Rd., Landover, Maryland 20785

WHO:     To register to attend, or for more information, please contact Ted Knight at 410-703-4685 or

More Information: 

Gamera Site:

Live Gamera Updates on Twitter:

Op-Ed by UMD's Clark School of Engineering Dean Dr. Darryll Pines on Importance of Competitions to Spur Innovation:

Recent Gamera News:

Popular Mechanics:
Two Teams, One Dream: The Human-Powered Helicopter

UMD News:


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