The requirements to win the $250,000 prize:
Hover for 1-minute
Reach a height of 3-meters (10 feet)
Remain in a 10-meter box from lift off
The pilot for the test flight will be University of Maryland grad student, Judy Wexler. With a female pilot, if the team successfully flies their helicopter, they will also receive the world record for the first human-powered helicopter piloted by a female!
The aircraft itself is HUGE – nearly 1/3 the size of a football field and yet engineered to weight about 100-pounds. The video quotes a finish-weight of nearly 140lbs, but they have managed to decrease it to around 100!
I will be following this story to see how their maiden voyage turns out. The first full flight attempt will be TOMORROW, May 11th, and they are planning to live-stream the event here starting at 9AM EDT.
Here is a well-produced video explaining the project and their goal in wining the Sikorsky Prize:
What is mind blowing about this whole thing is that the team of engineers have ONLY been working on this project for 2-years. More information on the project, the team, and the details of the initial flight can be found here.