U.Md. students to test fly human-powered helicopter

Maryland students make their final preparations on Gamera before its initial liftoff. (Photo: Autria Godfrey/ABC7)

More than 50 University of Maryland students are attempting to test fly a human-powered helicopter and could capture a world record.

A mechanical issue, though, has hampered efforts to get the chopper, dubbed Gamera, off the ground thus far.

The helicopter was designed with lightweight materials so that it only weighs 210 pounds, including the student pilot. It is powered by a combination of hand and foot pedaling.

If the craft gets off the ground, the team could capture the world record for human-powered helicopter flight with a female pilot on board.{ }

About four or five students are working on resolving the technical issues. They plan on trying to fly the helicopter again this afternoon.

The team also is working to capture the Sikorsky Prize run by the American Helicopter Society. No team has succeeded since the prize was first offered in 1980.