www.HumanPoweredHelicopters.org

Sirkorsky Prize

The American Helicopter Society created the "Sikorsky Prize" in 1980, naming it in honor of Igor Sikorsky. The regulations are available on their website. Basically, a prize of $20,000 US (Twenty Thousand) will be paid to the first to fly a human powered helicopter for at least 60 seconds and a momentary height of 3 meters. Since it's creation there have been a few attempts but only 2 projects (Da Vinci III, and Yuri I) have succeeded in leaving the ground under official witnessing.

In 1977, Dr Paul MacCready won his first Kremer Prize by designing and building a human powered fixed-wing aircraft that completed a figure 8, the Gossamer Condor. In 1979, he won his second Kremer Prize with the Gossamer Albatross that crossed the English channel. It is within this historical context that the American Helicopter Society created in 1980 the Sikorsky Prize. The first Kremer Prize included a height requirement of about 3m (I'm looking for a reference for this). This may have inspired the 3m requirement for the Sikorsky Prize.

Since the creation of the Sikorsky Prize, the AHS has published a few articles with rule interpretations to help clarify matters for the participants.

The world-wide authority on aviation records is the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale). The US member organization to the FAI is the NAA (National Aeronautic Association). The member for Canada is the Aero Club of Canada. The member for the UK is the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom. The FAI website lists the member organizations for other countries. The NAA website has application forms you can download for all kinds of aviation records including 'human-powered' and 'rotorcraft'.

IMPORTANT: If you are serious about attempting to win the Sikorsky Prize, you must work with both the AHS and your local representative organization of the FAI. It would be a shame to do all that work and not have your achievements recognized. ;)

Quotes about the Sikorsky Prize:

"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 work." - Dr Paul MacCready, 2001.

"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.

Pledges

The following pledges are made solely on the honor system. They are intended to supplement the Sikorsky Prize or to reward accomplishments that don't meet those requirements. Those who make a pledge choose the requirement to be met and the amount to be paid. They are then responsible for sending their award directly to the eventual winner. To be added to this list, contact the webmaster.

  • Gilles Lehoux, Canada; $100 US; A one-time award to the next individual to make a successful  human powered helicopter flight officially recognized by an FAI member organization. Pledged 13 March 2007.
  • David A. Wagner (Designer of Gyro HPH), Canada ; $100; A one-time award to the next individual to make a Human Powered Helicopter flight recognized by an FAI member organization. Pledged March 14, 2007.
  • David A. Wagner (Designer of Gyro HPH), Canada ; $50; For the first person to have the bottom of their craft clear the 3 ft mark and stay in the air for a full minute. Pledged March 14, 2007.
  • Cabot Wade, USA; $100; A one-time award to the next individual to make a successful  human powered helicopter flight officially recognized by an FAI member organization. Pledged 20 March 2007.
  • Total: $350.

 

  Home  Contact