...a brief timeline of human powered flight.
- 1903 - The Wright Flyer I, by Wilbur
and Orville Wright, first engine powered fixed-wing flies for 12 sec and
reaches 120 ft.
- 1907 - First engine powered helicopter to achieve free flight,
Cornu, flies for 20 sec and reaches 30 cm. (Both Cornu and the Wrights were
- 1959 - Creation of the Kremer
prizes for Human Powered flight.
- 1961 - The SUMPAC, human-powered fixed-wing, designed by Derek Pigot,
first human powered aircraft flown in the UK.
- 1966 - The Linnet
1, human-powered fixed-wing, from Nihon University, first human powered
aircraft flown in Japan.
- 1976 - The Olympian, human-powered fixed-wing, designed by Joseph
Zinno, first human powered aircraft flown in the USA.
- 1977 - The Gossamer-Condor, human-powered fixed-wing, designed by Dr
Paul MacCready, wins the Kremer prize by performing a figure 8.
- 1979 - The Gossamer-Albatross fixed-wing, designed by Dr
Paul MacCready, wins the Kremer prize for crossing the English Channel.
- 1980 - Creation of the Sikorsky Prize
- 1983 - The Monarch fixed-wing wins the first Kremer speed prize.
- 1988 - The Daedalus fixed-wing flies for 3h54 and reaches 116 km
- 1989 - The Da Vinci III, first human
powered helicopter, flys for 7.1 sec and reaches 8 in.
- 1994 - The Yuri I, by Dr. Akira Naito,
second human powered helicopter, flys for 19.46 sec and reaches 0.2 m.
- There are no other human powered helicopters that have left the ground,
except those listed above, that I know of.
In summary, from 1903 to 1907, it took 4 years for the first engine-powered
helicopter after the first engine-powered fixed wing. Then, from about 1961 to
1989, it took at least 28 years to do the same with human power. For a more
detailed history of human powered flight see the
history page of the Human Powered Flight Group of the Royal Aeronautical
Society. For an even better history of human powered flight, check out "Human
Powered Flying 1790-1990", an online book by Chris Roper. He is the
designer and builder of the "Jupiter" fixed-wing HPA. There is an excellent history
of helicopters on a website commemorating the centennial
of the Wright Brother's first flight.