Who's who in Human Powered Helicopters
Dr Patterson was the supervisor of the Da Vinci III project. As of June 2006, he
is a Professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In particular, he teaches a course
called "Single Track Vehicle Design". Its objective is to promote the
advancement of human powered vehicles by "learning by doing". For more
information about him and his course, see his personal
page. This page also includes his email address where you may be able to
reach him and ask him questions.
Dr Akira Naito is one of the most famous men in the history of human powered
flight along with Dr Paul MacCready. He died recently after retiring (1991) from Nihon
University. If someone has a biography or a eulogy for Dr Naito, please email
it to me. I bet there are some out there written in Japanese.
IHPVA 30 v9 n2 1991, Contains the
article: "Review of developments in Human-Powered Helicopters" by Dr Akira Kaito
Photo by Chris Roper, from here.
Dr Paul MacCready was the main designer and project leader for some of the
most important human powered fixed-wing aircraft in history. He founded
the company Aerovironment that went
on to build and fly very light and very large aircraft capable of reaching
extremely high altitudes with little power such as that provided by solar
panels. His experience in designing human powered aircraft no doubt helped him.
The Gossamer Condor is now at the Smithsonian
Books and Movies about Dr MacCready's Human Powered projects
- "The First Human Powered Flight: The Story of Paul B. MacCready and
his Airplane, the Gossamer Condor", by Richard L. Taylor, 1995.
- "More with Less - Paul MacCready and the dream of efficient flight"
by Paul Ciotti
- "Gossamer Condor"
- "Gossamer Condor and Albatross - A Case Study in Aircraft
Design", by James D. Burke, 1980
- "The Flight of the Gossamer Condor" (Documentary movie available
on VHS) by Ben Shedd, Jacqueline Phillips Shedd, Paul MacCready, and Roger
- "Gossamer Condor Plans", by Paul MacCready. Plans for the
Gossamer Condor were made available. I think Mr MacCready used to sell them
himself. I know they can be purchased second hand on the internet.
- "Gossamer Albatross" (Documentary movie available on VHS)
- Wikipedia: Paul
at MIT. Includes a video of the Gossamer Condor and Albatross.
As part of the "Scientific American
Frontiers" webpages on the PBS
website, Dr MacCready answered questions
from the public. One of these was about human powered helicopters. Quote
from the website: "Michael Gibbs asked: Greetings to another Caltech
grad. I also have a degree in Physics from there. My question is: What is the
latest progress on the attempt to make a human powered helicopter? I think a
scaled down version might be a good candidate for a vehicle that can hover and
carry a small camera. What do you think? McCready's response: The reality of a
human-powered helicopter is that, with the simple formula for static thrust of a
rotor, you quickly find you need a disk diameter of 150 feet or so for serious
human-powered helicopter flight. It can be done, but the task is huge, and the
dollar prize not worth the time expenditure. There are many more exciting,
never-been-done-before challenges that can be accomplished with much less
Co-designer of the Da Vinci III. Currently (2007) a PhD
candidate at UC Davis. Scott Larwood was very generous to give us this interview.
"You may lose money by building a craft that wins the formidable
Sikorsky prize; however, you may end up being responsible for creating one of the
most elegant and graceful machines known to humankind. Thankfully, some people have already paved the way by getting off the ground." - Scott
Larwood, 9 March 2007.
Wagner, designer of the Gyro HPH
project. Interviewed here.