Historic Flight

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– [Videographer] Human pilot first try. (inspirational ambient music) (Students shouting instructions) (clapping and cheering) – Today you’re seeing the
first successful flights of the Gamera Solar-powered Helicopter. So you’re seeing aviation
history being made in the history of Green aviation
and Rotary Wing aviation. This aircraft started as a
Gamera human-powered helicopter, after we accomplished all of
our goals with that aircraft, the project was handed over
to a team of undergrads who converted it to a fully direct solar-powered
electric aircraft. – We created all the foam backings, all the panels are individually bought, just with the monocrystalline solar cells. And we create these panels ourselves. – [William] This is flight test four. – Steady.
– Go! – Down, down! – Down, down! – What’s up? – That rotor didn’t spin
at all where Bikram is. – We got pretty close
on the last flight test but we just couldn’t quite get the whole vehicle into the air. Sometimes we have flight tests where, just, nothing happens. – I should take out the…
– The yaw. – The yaw, and it should bring
this one up a little higher. – Perfect. – [William] This is gonna
be flight test number 6. – Spinning rotors. Wooh! Goin for a trip! – Down, down, down! – Alright, careful, you alright? – Yeah, I’m good.
(William laughing) – This is a world first as far as I know. – Michelle, congratulations!
– Thanks! It’s an incredible experience,
it’s a first for our team, and also, it’s really exciting
that I got to be the pilot. – This project’s come a long way in the past six or seven years from human-powered to now solar-powered. So we’re breaking barriers in aviation of all sorts with this one airframe and we’re very proud of that work here at the University of Maryland.

 

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