The Canadian AeroVolo team led by Todd Reichert that won the elusive $250,000 Sikorsky Prize for human-powered helicopter flight last June has been nominated for the Collier Trophy, one of the most prestigious aviation awards.
AeroVolo is jointly nominated with the Gamera human-powered helicopter effort based at the University of Maryland. The Gamera team has had some successes but has not yet achieved the basic requirements for the Sikorsky Prize, which was to climb out of ground effect to a minimum height of three metres and remain in controlled flight for at least 60 seconds.
As described in a Canadian Aviator story in our November, 2013 edition, AeroVolo has repeated the feat and more since winning the prize.
It appears the joint nomination was made because the Collier Trophy must be won by an American company or organization but winning the award will be a stretch in any case. They’re up against the likes of NASA, Boeing, and Pratt & Whitney and the human powered helicopter, which an amazing engineering and design feat, doesn’t really fit the Collier Trophy criteria well.
The Collier Trophy is awarded “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.”
The award will be presented by the National Aeronautic Association in Washington, D.C. on May 8.