September 2009

New video posted on YouTube


April. 2008

I have finished construction of the main frame and installing my transmission set-up. I also tested it for center of gravity with my alternate pilot, so far, things are working out as planned.

pilot center of gravity test


Feb. 2008

I have renewed building the helicopter and I am planning on making the heli flight worthy and enter the contest this year ('08). I have sent in my application form to the American Helicopter Society and have made decisions as to final power transmission and rotor design and will be working daily to get this done. I will keep track of my progress and post it as I go along on my Blog page.

Human Power Helicopter Blog Link



I am working on a Human Powered Helicopter for a contest sponsored by the American Helicopter Association

Basically, it is a contest to be awarded to the first Human Powered Helicopter. The contest is given to the craft that meets the following criteria:

"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 an 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."

After reading about this contest in the Air & Space magazine in 1989, I had an idea of how to build it and win and have been working on it ever since.

I have a novel idea which my prototypes have verified, but forgive me if I don't give out any details yet. But basically the problems for this type of vehicle are twofold 1) weight and 2) power. Working within the constraints of how much horsepower a human body can produce one has to either make the vehicle extremely light or create an efficient power train. The problem with creating a very light aircraft is that it loses it strength as lighter materials are used, which has lead some to create craft for this contest out of very expensive composite materials. My approach lies in the power train angle, more power for rotor rotation means the craft can be built sturdier, if a little heavier.

The winner will get a $20,000 award, but the greatest achievement would be to validate Leonardo Da Vinci early theories on human powered vehicles.

I am working on my final prototype but need sponsorship money to complete. If any one is interested please email me.

This is an international contest for a world record in this category.



Efrain Palermo

This is one of the human power helicopter prototypes I tested in Clearwater, Florida.


An artistic rendition I did using Bryce 3D

Leonardo Da Vinci's original helicopter concept

A nicely rendered version of Da Vinci's Helicopter


Efrain's Home Page Email Efrain Palermo

American Helcopter Society

Links - Other Competitors

University British Columbia - The Thunderbird Project

University of Michigan - The Phoenix Project

Purdue University Chapter AHS

California Polytechnic Institute - Leonardo Series

College of Science & Technology Nihon Univ - YURI (incomplete link)

Links - Misc.

International Human Powered Vehicle Assoc,