- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It may have taken over 30 years, but the “human helicopter” now exists.

Canadian engineers Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson of AeroVelo are the first team to defeat a challenge set forth by The American Helicopter Society in 1980. The Canadians will now pocket the Sikorsky Prize for their creative efforts — $250,000.

The Atlas human-powered helicopter flew higher than 9.84 feet and hovered for over 30 seconds.

“It’s very easy to say that something is impossible. It’s much more difficult to change your assumptions and change your context to make something possible,” Mr. Reichert told CNN.

“Whenever we had a big crash it was devastating. It took so much of our time to piece Humpty Dumpty back together again,” Mr. Cameron told CNN.

“And every time we picked ourselves up we would know a little bit more than last time. … We really want people to understand that with the application of passion and persistence and innovative creative thinking, you can really take on any challenge.”

The two understand that the world won’t be flying human-powered helicopters to work anytime soon, but they told CNN they want people to realize that “impossible is nothing.”