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A helicopter, powered solely by the pilot, designed to achieve one of the greatest challenges in aviation history: the Sikorsky Prize.
A helicopter, powered solely by the pilot, designed to achieve one of the greatest challenges in aviation history: the Sikorsky Prize.
479 backers pledged $34,424 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Missing avatar

      Gunnar on

      Just browsed "AeroVelo" by accident... Hey you really won the price!!!
      So it`s time for an UPDATE, please!

    2. Jack Mann on

      Well done guys! - Congrats. We anxiously await an update on the official numbers.

    3. Michael and Liz

      way to go, guys ! yeehaw. AWESOME.

    4. Stefan Loble

      Boom! Congrats. When you have a minute, It'd be great to receive an update on reaching the goal.

      This is a particularly interesting development given so many Kickstarter projects fail!

    5. Glenn Copeland

      So let's see... $250,000 split 500 ways...

    6. Jim Greer on

      Awesome work, guys!

    7. kcjnz on

      WOOT!! Way to go, glad you did it, Awesome job!

    8. Matthew Peck on

      Congratulations! Proud to own an Atlas project patch :) Might have to order aviator coveralls to out it in.

    9. Cameron Robertson & Todd Reichert 2-time creator on

      Hi Chris (and our other backers!)

      Our website has been the default medium for getting updates out, and these are pushed to Facebook, Twitter, etc. Sorry that we've been remiss in sending them out via Kickstarter! Thanks for posting the link to our homepage Chris.

      Additionally, thanks very much everyone for your patience regarding rewards! We finally have everything together and we'll be shipping everything out by the weekend, in time for the holidays. Keep an eye out!

    10. Chris Seline on

      For those looking for recent updates, check out their website:

      I am still eagerly awaiting my copy of the plans! Please don't forget about your benefactors :)

    11. Matthew Peck on

      What's the latest on the patches?

    12. Matthew Peck on

      Moreover, while it might take some time to formulate an official KS Update, it takes but a moment to throw a comment in this Comments section. Example:
      "Hey, we didn't run a flight test today, as we were working on improving the durability of the collective pitch control lines."
      Don't treat Kickstarter like a government grant. We give a crap, and we want to know what's going on. We also know how hard it *isn't* to keep us in the loop.

    13. Matthew Peck on

      I think it's time for a real update here. Forget Facebook, Twitter, and your website. People have funded your endeavor through Kickstarter, and it's time you gave us a comprehensive update on the project status *here*. I don't mean a few team pictures and some general project goals. I mean tell us where you stand, what the realistic time frame for the rest of the project is, the current feasibility of winning the Sikorsky prize (accounting for Gamera II and Upturn), etc. We have invested in your project. Time for an investor report, guys.

    14. James Scott on

      Do we know when the first flight will take place yet? Deadlines drive progress!

    15. Matthew Peck on

      Any news, or better, updates, for us?

    16. Dan Gervais on

      Wired just put up another one on the Gamera II (they are in the air for almost a minute but way less than the required height)

      Also you should get a PR mention or something for this project at

    17. Mariquel & Gaston on

      Hi guys! Congratulations this is amazing!! Just a quick suggestion, I used to hsve a KS project and when it finished I realize I can not edit the home oage anymore. So maybe you can now add in the homepage instructions for people that will like to contribute but will be late to the campaign. You can create an acount on paypal and receive donations after the KS campaign is over. Also if you have a fb page or twitternyou can put that info in the home page as well.
      I will follow your steps closely, this is an amazing project and hope you make it !!

    18. Cameron Robertson & Todd Reichert 2-time creator on

      Hi Mark,

      We hope to begin flight testing by early-August in Tottenham, ON, at the Great Lakes Gliding Club where we're building the helicopter. We'll keep everyone on a mailing list to keep you updated of our progress and schedule. Thanks for your support!

    19. Mark Martin on

      Woo-Hoo!! Congratulations! When you win the Sikorski Prize can we have out money back? ;-) Kidding . . .

      But seriously, congratulations to one and all. This is going to be an amazing feat regardless of the prize. I look forward to keeping up with developments and seeing videos of the flight.

      Come to think of it, where and when will the flight take place? It would be great to be able to actually witness the event!

    20. James Scott on

      I kicked in $100 for Canadian glory. Canadian aviation innovation is awesome and I'm all for supporting it.

    21. Bebban@Deep Hover I on

      Awesome!!! Incredible team on an incredible quest!!! Hoorah!!!

    22. Michael and Liz

      you made it ! congrats !

    23. Bebban@Deep Hover I on

      Hi Guys,

      That's quite the spar-making method you've developed. Very impressive - and probably the spars are recyclable for other craft? Gamera's trusses may be slightly more weight-efficient, but the labor involves a small army. Interesting that your first design calls for both blade taper and root cutout, whereas Gamera arrived there only in their second generation. I hope this means that you have other advances waiting to be revealed, and that when Gamera flies on the 17th, they will doubtlessly rewrite the record book --- but leave the $250,000 pot ready for you to claim! Hope you make the $30K goal for openers!

    24. Othmane Akesbi on

      Good luck guys! Quick question: why didn't you post the video on youtube as well?

    25. Missing avatar

      Bill on

      Go Team and Calvin! I always knew this mode of flight would be achieved! Congrats in advance!

      Bill Van Caulart

    26. Cameron Robertson & Todd Reichert 2-time creator on

      Hi Bebban,
      Good eye! The circles in the free wake plot show the motion of the air, so the column in the middle is actually a massive column of air shooting up through the centre. If you want the true optimum aerodynamic chord distribution, then the chord at the root must be infinitely large to keep the downwash constant over the rotor. Obviously this is impractical (and infinitely heavy), so there's an optimum point where the added chord is not worth the aerodynamic benefit, and you simple stop the rotor there. We looked at covering the hub, and it had the potential to decrease the required power by about 20 Watts, but some air still escaped through the blades, and it was not necessary worth the weight and complication of the cover.

    27. Cameron Robertson & Todd Reichert 2-time creator on

      Thanks Idan! That's actually one of the most rewarding parts of working on stuff like this. When we flew the ornithopter in 2010 I received quite a few letters and drawings from kids and schools across the country.

    28. Incident on

      Hey Guys,
      I hope you the best of luck in this. I've been obsessed with helicopters growing up, as a kid I drew up my own plans for a human powered helicopter and showed it to my dad. He then ripped me a apart talking about sheer stresses and tension and materials. Made me that much more interested in physics and I even ended up working on a smaller scale, autonomous helicopter project in college.

      Anyways, good luck, you'll be making the dreams of this former 12 year old come true!

    29. Bebban@Deep Hover I on

      Thanks, Todd. You show a series of screen shots from your optimizer program. The one in the bottom left labeled "free wake" has me baffled. What is depicted in the center at 0 radius? Is that one of the trusses in sectional view .... with you pedaling on top, some 11 meters off the ground as you win the Sikorsky Prize? That would be super-stable .... with a forgiving landing for the pilot :)

    30. Cameron Robertson & Todd Reichert 2-time creator on

      Hi Bebban,
      When we flew the ornithopter I was at 156 lbs. My normal weight is between 170 and 180 depending on the training phase. I'll probably drop a bit before this flight, maybe down to 160 or 165, but I think less than that is sacrificing my power:weight ratio.

    31. Bebban@Deep Hover I on

      Hey Todd,

      You're the rarest of rare species, not only managing the Snowbird ornithopter project, but also piloting it --- and shaving off 18 of your own pounds to make it happen! Pretty awesome, I'd say. Could you tell us what your weight was on the day you flew Snowbird? At the same time, Gamera's pilot, Judy Wexler, weighed 107lbs when she set the 'female' record in a 4-poster HPH .... not much to shave off there. So do you have a personal weight goal for pitching&plunging Atlas later in the summer? Thanks!

    32. Bebban@Deep Hover I on

      A lightweight structure to hold it all together ....... you're kidding, right? Whatever ---- how much does Todd weigh?

    33. Cameron Robertson & Todd Reichert 2-time creator on

      Thanks for all the support so far!
      Don't worry, eventually we plan on being very open with the entire design. There's just a few things that we don't want to let out of the bag just yet ;)
      You can check out our website ( for updates and videos as construction progresses. Briefly though, the design is a quad-rotor similar to the Yuri and the Gamera with two blades per rotor and a lightweight structure to hold is all together.

      - Todd

    34. Bebban@Deep Hover I on

      Both Neal Saiki and Univ Maryland have released considerable detail on their crafts. It is unsportsmanlike for AeroVelo not to release general design parameters. These would include the number of rotors and blades, the diameters, the transmission methodology, the estimated weight, estimated rpm ...... and so forth. No one expects you to reveal details such as the airfoils involved, possible use of flaps or tricks involved with stability and control. But if you're going to ask for $30,000 in gifting, then I think you ought to be more forthcoming --- share the excitement and let a possible 3-way rivalry unfold. No one is going to win the Sikorsky Prize itself for a good long time .... so make it more fun en route :)

    35. Ben Berry on

      Good luck from UMD. I like your approach! (and really great videos)

    36. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      The author of this comment has been deleted.

    37. Missing avatar

      Michael Duffy on

      Gotta beat University of Maryland. They are close too.

      Good luck

    38. Missing avatar

      Clint Landrock on

      Good luck guys, super awesome project!

    39. Trent Austin on

      Awesome concept.... pedal power!

    40. Karol Gajda on

      When I was a youngster (~25 year ago) I had a dream. That dream was building a me-powered helicopter and flying far away. Thanks for letting me see that dream become reality in some small way.

    41. Cameron Robertson & Todd Reichert 2-time creator on

      Due to the nature of the competition, we won't be releasing the exact details just yet, but it will be in the range of other Human-powered helicopters, which have been larger than 100ft across.

    42. Missing avatar

      lozano2 on

      it does look really cool !! how big is it going to be ?