AeroVelo Team Wins AHS International's 33-Year-Old Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition

  AeroVelo Team Wins AHS International's 33-Year-Old Igor I. Sikorsky Human
                        Powered Helicopter Competition

PR Newswire

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 11, 2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --AHS International, the world's
premier professional vertical flight technical society, congratulates
AeroVelo, Inc. for winning its Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter
Competition for the first time since the Society established it 33 years ago.

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A panel of vertical flight technical experts – the AHS International Human
Powered Helicopter Competition Committee – thoroughly reviewed the design and
flight testing of Toronto, Ontario-based AeroVelo's Atlas human powered
helicopter, as well as data from its June 13, 2013 flight. Based on that
review, the committee has verified that the Atlas flight met all of the
requirements to win the competition and its US$250,000 prize. AeroVelo's Dr.
Todd Reichert piloted and pedaled the Atlas on that flight inside The Soccer
Centre in Vaughan, Ontario.

The requirements to win the AHS Sikorsky prize were for an aircraft using only
human power to fly for at least 60 seconds, reach an altitude of at least 3
meters (9.8 feet) and remain hovering over a 10 by 10 meter (32.8 by 32.8
foot) area. The full competition regulations, as well as past news updates,
videos and other information, are available on the AHS International website,

"The AHS Sikorsky Prize challenged the technical community to harness
teamwork, technical skills and cutting edge technologies to meet requirements
that were on the ragged edge of feasibility," said AHS International Executive
Director Mike Hirschberg. "It took AeroVelo's fresh ideas, daring engineering
approach and relentless pursuit of innovation – coupled with more than three
decades of advances in structures, composites, computer-aided design and
aeromechanical theory – to succeed in achieving what many in vertical flight
considered impossible. We congratulate the Atlas team on its incredible

The American Helicopter Society (AHS), as the Society was then known,
established the competition in 1980, and named it for one of its most
important founding members, Igor I. Sikorsky. AHS originally offered a
US$10,000 prize, which was soon raised to US$25,000. In 2009, Sikorsky
Aircraft Corp. – which Igor I. Sikorsky founded in 1923 – increased the prize
to US$250,000 to better spur vertical flight innovation.

The competition was specifically designed to energize students and other
innovators, by providing a hands-on, galvanizing experience for the next
generations of vertical flight engineers, scientists and other specialists.
The international competition has attracted teams from Canada (including
schools in Montreal and Vancouver), Japan, the U.S., and around the world.

"The scientific breakthroughs, engineering innovations and inspiring
accomplishments that have been engendered by the AHS Sikorsky Prize are a
testament to the ability of the human spirit to tackle seemingly impossible
challenges," said Hirschberg.

The Atlas is larger than any operational helicopter ever constructed, based on
its overall width of 58 meters (190 feet), though it weighs only 52 kilograms
(115 pounds). It has four 20.4 meter (67 foot) diameter rotors that are
powered by the pilot pedaling a Cervelo carbon-fiber bicycle. The Atlas
project was begun in January 2012 and made its first flight in August 2012.

AeroVelo is one of three teams recently flying as part of the AHS competition.
The others are the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland with its
Gamera II helicopter and California Polytechnic State University in San Luis
Obispo, California with its Upturn II aircraft.

AHS International is also pleased to announce that AeroVelo's win is not the
end, but the beginning. The AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter
Competition will soon be followed by another grand challenge, the details of
which are currently being refined.

About AHS International

AHS International, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is the world's premier
professional vertical flight technical society. The Society provides global
leadership for scientific, technical, educational and legislative initiatives
that advance the state of the art of vertical flight. On February 25, 2013,
the Society marked 70 years of bringing together industry, academia and
governments to tackle the toughest challenges in vertical flight. The Society
was initiated by Sikorsky Aircraft employees, including Igor I. Sikorsky, just
weeks after his company received the first American production helicopter

AHS International has more than 6,000 members in 37 countries, including the
world's leading vertical flight manufacturers, suppliers and education and
research institutions. Among the Society's members are engineers, scientists,
corporate executives, civilian and military program managers, pilots, safety
specialists, students and faculty, and leaders in research, development,
manufacturing, procurement and maintenance.

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SOURCE Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

Contact: Mike Hirschberg, 1-703-684-6777 x111,; or During
July 13-July 21, contact: Jim McKenna, 1-202-734-0179,
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