Proof loading the rotor drive pulleys on Gamera II
The final design tweaks of the new cockpit's transmission components
Cockpit core structure containing the hand and foot cranks
The large x-shaped frame has still been constructed using the micro-truss structures developed for the original quad-rotor craft, but have been employed more extensively throughout the frame
An increased taper ratio is said to have improved aerodynamics and root stiffness of the blade spar, which results in increased ground effect and keeps tip deflections low
The rotor blades have a thin plastic film skin that becomes tight and smooth when heated
The Gamera II team has recently been using a test rig to explore the power needed to achieve an altitude of 3 meters (9.84 feet) above the ground at some point during the flight
Team members Patrick Gunson and James Galatola assemble the micro-trusses into one of the four airframe truss arms
The Gamera human-powered helicopter team at the University of Maryland's Clark School of Engineering has announced the first test flights of a redesigned craft which is hoped will smash existing records and claim the elusive Sikorsky Prize.
Last July, the frantic pumping of upper and lower limbs of intrepid pilot Judy Wexler managed to keep the huge Gamera human-powered helicopter in the air for a record-breaking 11.4 seconds. The student team from the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center at the University of Maryland's Department of Aerospace Engineering has since been busy refining and redesigning the craft for another stab at the elusive US$250,000 American Helicopter Society's Sikorsky Prize. Gamera II has been built for longer flight duration and is lighter and tougher than its predecessor, with improved transmission and enhanced rotor design. The new x-shaped craft is set to take off next week for its first test runs and the team is confident that existing record times will be smashed... but will it nab the ultimate prize?
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