Human Powered Helicopter Regulations

AeroVelo Banner

The AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition has been won by AeroVelo, Inc.!

Please read the official press release for complete details on this landmark event.

Please direct all questions on the competition and/or rules and regulations here. Thank you!

A prize of $250,000.00 is pledged by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. for the first successful controlled flight of a human-powered helicopter that meets all of the requirements of AHS International's Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition.

This competition shall be conducted under the following regulations and conditions laid down by the Human-Powered Helicopter Committee of AHS International and shall be witnessed by the National Aero Club (NAC), the national representative of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). In the United States, the national representative of the FAI is the National Aeronautic Association (NAA).

NOTE: The AHS has been advised by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that, in the United States of America, registration and airworthiness certification will not be required for machines built for this competition on the assumption that all flights will be limited to close proximity to the ground and will generate no interference with air commerce. All intending entrants are strongly advised, during trials, to hold adequate insurance coverage for all third party risks and to take every precaution against injury to people and damage to property. It is expected that competitors in countries other than the U.S.A. will observe their own national flying and insurance regulations.

1. General

1.1 The prize will be awarded by the AHS to the entrant who first fulfills the conditions

1.2 Additionally, an attempt will be registered with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) as a World Record for Human-Powered Helicopter Flight duration.

2. Prize

The AHS Prize is $250,000 in U.S. currency.

3. Eligibility

3.1 The competition is international and is open to individuals or teams from any part of the world.

3.2 For any and all questions regarding acceptance of entries, eligibility of an entrant, pilot, crew or aircraft under the regulations, or any other matter relating to the AHS prize, the decision of the AHS is final.

3.2.1  Prior to sending judges to observe an attempt additional evidence, such as footage of and/or data showing that your rotary wing vehicle is likely to achieve flight, will need to be provided.  Simply getting off the ground is a significant challenge that should not be underestimated.

 3.3 All questions regarding the world record attempt will be governed by the sporting code of the FAI and rest exclusively with the NAC.

4. Conditions of Entry 

4.1 Aircraft

4.1.1 The machine shall be a heavier-than-air machine. The use of lighter-than-air gases shall be prohibited.

4.1.2 The machine shall be a rotary wing configuration capable of vertical takeoff and landing in still air, and at least one member of the crew shall be non-rotating.

4.1.3 The machine shall be powered and controlled by the crew during the entire flight, including accelerating the rotor up to takeoff speed.

4.1.4 No devices for storing energy either for takeoff or for use in flight shall be permitted. Rotating aerodynamic components, such as rotor blades, used for lift and/or control are exempt from consideration as energy storing devices.

Permissible until August 31, 2013:  Energy storage devices, such as a flywheel, must remain in the drive system chain and cannot be used to collect/store energy when the rotor/s are not turning.  A system that transfers energy from human powered input directly to the rotation of the lifting rotor/s, regardless of the number of stages or type of system used to do this, does not violate the energy storage rule.  Since a flywheel can be used as a stabilizing device, then it would be acceptable to use as long as it can be proven that it is not being used to transfer energy to the main rotor/s.

Permissible until August 31, 2013:  Batteries that supply power to the drive system are forbidden.  If batteries are used in a design then it must be proven that no energy enters the drive system from the batteries.

4.1.5 No part of the machine shall be jettisoned during the flight including the rotor spin-up and takeoff.

4.2 Crew

4.2.1 The crew shall be those persons in the machine during takeoff and flight, and there shall be no limit set to their number.

4.2.2 No member of the crew shall be permitted to leave or enter the aircraft at any time during takeoff or flight.

4.2.3 No drugs or stimulants shall be used by any member of the crew. An assurance must be given to the official observers at the time of the attempt that this requirement has been met.

4.2.4 Up to four handlers or ground crew shall be permitted to assist in stabilizing the machine during takeoff and landing, but in such a manner that they do not assist in accelerating or decelerating any part of the machine.

4.3 Ground Conditions

4.3.1 All attempts, which shall include the takeoff, shall be made over approximately level ground (i.e., with a slope not exceeding 1 in 100 in any direction).

4.3.2    All attempts shall be made in still air, which shall be defined as a wind not exceeding a mean speed of approximately one meter per second (3.6 kilometers per hour, 2.24 miles per hour, 1.94 nautical miles per hour) over the period of flight.

4.4 Flight Requirements

4.4.1 The flight requirements shall consist of hovering for one minute while maintaining flight within a 10-meter square. During this time, the lowest part of the machine shall exceed momentarily 3 meters above the ground.

4.4.2 The machine shall be in continuous flight from takeoff to landing, and at no time during the flight shall any part of the machine touch the ground.

4.4.3 A reference point on the non-rotating part of the machine will be established as a means whereby the observers can judge that the machine stayed within the confines of the 10-meter square.

4.4.4 The one minute hovering time and the momentary achievement of 3 meters altitude is required to win the AHS prize. (However, the FAI 1980 regulations specify that only the duration of the flight and a momentary achievement of 3 meters altitude will be recorded for the FAI world record attempt, making it possible to achieve a world record without satisfying the AHS prize requirements.)

4.5 Observation

Every attempt shall be observed by the NAC or a duly appointed representative of AHS International [amended 2/7/2013] or by any persons authorized by them to act as observers. It may take place in the competitor’s own country if it is affiliated with the FAI. In a country not so, it could be advantageous to conduct the flight in a neighboring country which is so affiliated.

5. Applications for Entry

5.1 Entry forms shall be obtained from and returned to AHS International, 217 N. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2538, USA, (703) 684-6777.

5.2 The entry fee shall be U.S. $15.00 (made payable to AHS International).

5.3 Each entry form shall contain an application for official observation of the competitor’s attempt.

5.4 The entrant shall undertake to abide by the conditions for official observation as set out on the entry form and application for official observation and shall undertake to defray all expenses incurred in connection with the official observation of the attempt.

5.5 The following fees and charges are made by the NAA for record attempts in Class I, Human-Powered Aircraft. All attempts shall be for national and international records.

5.6 Final notice of the proposed time and place of the attempt requiring official observation may, if so desired, be sent to the AHS later than the entry form. It must in all cases be received at least thirty days before the proposed date of the attempt. This time is required by the NAC (the NAA in the U.S.) to arrange for official observation. Applications will be considered in order of receipt.

5.7 Membership in the appropriate NAC and an FAI Sporting License is required for all crew members taking part in this competition. Application forms may be obtained from the NAC or AHS. For this competition, a pilot’s license is not required.

6. General Conditions

6.1. Indemnity

The entrant must execute, on behalf of himself, his crew, representatives or employees, the indemnity agreement found at to indemnify AHS, the NAC and the FAI against any claims.

6.2. Revision of Regulations

6.2.1 These regulations shall remain in force until such time as the AHS considers it necessary to amend them, or the prize has been won.

6.2.2 AHS International reserves the right to add to, amend or omit any of these regulations and to issue supplementary regulations.

6.3. Interpretation of Regulations

The interpretation of these regulations or any of the regulations hereafter issued rest entirely with AHS International. The entrant shall be solely responsible to the official observer for due observance of these regulations and shall be the person with whom the official observers will deal in respect thereof, or any other questions arising out of this competition.