Human Powered Helicopter

AHS International's Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition – the "AHS Sikorsky Prize" – was launched 1980, and was often described as impossible by experts until shortly before it was claimed in July 2013. This formidable task compelled both young and experienced students of science alike to explore uncultivated regions of physics and design.  It drove them to invent machines that were impossibly large, and impossibly light. And ultimately, these challengers proved that the impossible was possible.

AHS–The Vertical Flight Society and Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Company, launched a new VFS Sikorsky Prize in 2016, but this page is being maintained for historical reference purposes. 


The AHS Sikorsky Prize has been won by AeroVelo!

July 11, 2013

AeroVelo's Winning Flight

Read about this landmark event in the official AHS HPH Press Release. Also, check out all the latest HPH news, and visit our YouTube Channel for the latest videos. We've also created a media kit with backgrounders, fact files, full-resolution images and more.

AHS International initiated the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter (HPH) Competition in 1980, with a prize of $25,000. After nearly 30 years without a successful design, AHS was grateful that Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. greatly increased the size of the award by pledging $250,000 for the first successful controlled flight of a human-powered helicopter that met all of the requirements of AHS International's Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition.

A one minute hovering time, a momentary achievement of 3 meters altitude, and controlling the vehicle within a constrained box – all in the same flight – was required to win the AHS prize. See the official HPH Regulations for full details. 


"The AHS HPH Competition isn’t about creating a practical machine. It is an engineering challenge to the vertical flight technical community. This is a multi-disciplinary project that harnesses technical skills and teamwork to overcome what many have said for three decades was an impossible challenge."

-- AHS Executive Director, Mike Hirschberg

Igor I. Sikorsky Membership in AHS helps support this and other awards and competitions, including the Student Design Competition and the new MAV Student Challenge. Check out the many benefits of AHS membership to see how you can help advance the science of vertical flight. Join us today!

HPH Committee
Ben Hein, Chair
Jayant Sirohi, Deputy Chair
John M. Davis
Mark Dreier
Charles Hughes, Jr.
Bob Maciolek
Matt Tarascio

AHS Staff Coordinator
Kay Brackins