Published: 9 December 2013

Student pilots to test Human Powered Helicopter

Human Powered Helicopter 2

A team of fourth year Mechanical Engineering students have been recruiting ‘student pilots’ to help test the power-system for a Human-Powered Helicopter.

The team of five Masters students are designing, building and testing a competitive power-train system which could eventually power a full-scale human powered helicopter capable of flying to heights of around 3m, and sustaining a controlled hover for 90 seconds.

They will recruit a minimum of 30 students who have experience in road or track cycling, or high levels of sporting experience and fitness,  to act as pilots and ‘power test’ the craft.

The two-year Mechanical Engineering project, which begins in the third year of the Masters degree, is one of the Capstone projects – a module where students can choose to do a series of industry based projects like the human powered helicopter, or opt to join the Formula Student project.

Team leader Greg Stevens, said: “This project is hoping to top the cumulative power generated in previous global attempts, as well as the power efficiencies previously achieved. Defining the optimum pilot positioning within the cockpit will also play a central role, and if all goes to plan we’d hope to see next year’s project team being able to implement it into a full scale system.”

Strength testing has been taking place in the University Gym to determine which participants can produce the highest power output before three successful pilots go on to test the built system in the second semester.

If you’d like further information please contact Greg Stevens on

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