Kremer prize

The Kremer prizes are a series of monetary awards, established in 1959 by the industrialist Henry Kremer, that are given to pioneers of human-powered flight. The competitions and prize awards are administered by the Royal Aeronautical Society's Human Powered Aircraft Group.[1]

The first Kremer prize of £50,000 was won on 23 August 1977 by Dr. Paul MacCready when his Gossamer Condor, piloted by Bryan Allen, was the first human-powered aircraft to fly a figure eight around two markers one half mile apart, starting and ending the course at least 10 feet (3.0 m) above the ground.[2]

The second Kremer prize of £100,000 was won on 12 June 1979, again by Paul MacCready, when Bryan Allen flew MacCready's Gossamer Albatross from England to France.

A Kremer prize of £20,000 for speed was won in 1984 by a design team of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for flying their MIT Monarch B craft on a triangular 1.5 km (0.93 mi) course in under three minutes (for an average speed of 32 km/h (20 mph)). Further segments of a total prize pot of £100,000 were to be awarded for every improvement in speed of at least 5%; the next segment was won in the MacCready Bionic Bat with a flight of 163.28 seconds on 18 July 1984, piloted by Parker MacCready.[3] The third segment was won by Holger Rochelt flying Musculair 1 designed by Günther Rochelt. The fourth segment was won on 2 December 1984, with a flight of 143.08 seconds in the MacCready Bionic Bat piloted by Bryan Allen.[3] The fifth and final segment was won by Holger Rochelt flying Musculair 2, after which the prize competition was withdrawn by the Royal Aeronautical Society on grounds of safety.

There are currently three Kremer Prizes that have not yet been awarded, for a total of £150,000:

  • 26 mile Marathon course in under an hour (£50,000),
  • Sporting aircraft challenge stressing maneuverability (£100,000),
  • Local challenge that is limited to youth groups (under 18 years) in the UK.

See also


  1. ^ "Human Powered Group Webpage". Royal Aeronautical Society. 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
  2. ^ Graham Warwick Washington (4 March 2013). "Power Prize". Aviation Week and Space Technology.
  3. ^ a b Bionic Bat - Stored energy human powered aircraft

External links

1977 in science

The year 1977 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.

1979 in science

The year 1979 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.

Control reversal

Control reversal is an adverse effect on the controllability of aircraft. The flight controls reverse themselves in a way that is not intuitive, so pilots may not be aware of the situation and therefore provide the wrong inputs; in order to roll to the left, for instance, they have to push the control stick to the right, the opposite of the normal direction.

Foresight Institute

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HPA Toucan

The HPA Toucan is a British two-seat man-powered aircraft built and flown by members of Hertfordshire Pedal Aeronauts and was the first two-man man-powered aircraft to fly.

History of human-powered aircraft

The history of human-powered aircraft (HPA) started in the early twentieth century. HPAs are aircraft belonging to the class of vehicles known as human-powered vehicles. Early attempts at human-powered flight were unsuccessful because of the difficulty of achieving the high power-to-weight ratio. Prototypes often used ornithopter principles which were not only too heavy to meet this requirement but aerodynamically unsatisfactory.

Human-powered aircraft have been successfully flown over considerable distances. However, they are still primarily constructed as engineering challenges rather than for any kind of recreational or utilitarian purpose.

Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition

The Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition was established in 1980 by the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International. The award, the AHS Sikorsky Prize, was given for the first human powered helicopter (HPH) to meet a set of extremely challenging flight requirements. In summary, the requirements to win the AHS Sikorsky Prize included a flight duration of 60 seconds and reaching an altitude of 3 meters (9.8 feet), with the center point of the aircraft hovering over a 10-by-10-metre (33 by 33 ft) square.In 2013, 33 years after the competition was established, the award was officially declared won when AeroVelo's Atlas human-powered helicopter conducted a flight that met all the requirements of the AHS International competition, and received the $250,000 prize.In the history of the prize, dozens of teams have designed and built human-powered helicopters, although few have made it airborne.

Inducement prize contest

An inducement prize contest (IPC) is a competition that awards a cash prize for the accomplishment of a feat, usually of engineering. IPCs are typically designed to extend the limits of human ability. Some of the most famous IPCs include the Longitude prize (1714–1765), the Orteig Prize (1919–1927) and the prizes from the X Prize Foundation.

IPCs are distinct from recognition prizes, such as the Nobel Prize, in that IPCs have prospectively defined criteria for what feat is to be achieved for winning the prize, while recognition prizes may be based on the beneficial effects of the feat.

Research has shown that IPCs can be extremely effective in pushing the advancement of technology.

List of human-powered aircraft

This is a list of human-powered aircraft by date.

MacCready Gossamer Albatross

The Gossamer Albatross is a human-powered aircraft built by American aeronautical engineer Dr. Paul B. MacCready's company AeroVironment. On June 12, 1979, it completed a successful crossing of the English Channel to win the second £100,000 (£496938 today) Kremer prize.

MacCready Gossamer Condor

The MacCready Gossamer Condor was the first human-powered aircraft capable of controlled and sustained flight; as such, it won the Kremer prize in 1977. Its design was led by Paul MacCready of AeroVironment, Inc.


Musculair 1 and Musculair 2 are two human-powered aircraft designed and built by German academic and engineer Günther Rochelt.

Rochelt designed Musculair 1 and completed building it in 1984, allowing his son Holger to win two Kremer prizes for the flight over "the eight" in four minutes and 25 seconds in 1984. In the same year, he set a world speed record at 35.7 kilometres per hour (22.2 mph) to receive a second Kremer prize. Later that year, Holger and his sister Katrin, at that time still a child, became the first passenger flight in a human powered aircraft.

Length: 7.20 m

Wingspan: 22.00 m

Wing area: 16.50 m2

Glide ratio: 1:38

Height: 2.20 m

Mass of the aircraft: 28 kg

Propeller diameter: 2.72 m

required minimum power: 200 watts

required performance (11m / s): 280 WattsHaving slimmed down to just 41 kilograms (90 lb), in the Günther designed Musculair 2, Holger set a new speed world record of 44.26 kilometres per hour (27.50 mph) in 1985.

*Length: 6.00 m

Wingspan: 19.50 m

Wing area: 11.70 m2

Glide ratio: 1:37

Height: 1.50 m

Mass of the plane: 25 kg

Propeller diameter: 2.68 mToday, Musculair I is on display at the main Deutsches Museum, Munich. Musculair 2 is on display at the specialist Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim in Oberschleißheim.

PSU Zephyrus

The PSU Zephyrus is a human-powered aircraft being constructed by the Penn State AERSP 404H team. It is a composite material, single-seat, single propeller, high-wing airplane. The Zephyrus is designed to compete in the Kremer prize sport competition.

Paul MacCready

Paul B. MacCready Jr. (September 29, 1925 – August 28, 2007) was an American aeronautical engineer. He was the founder of AeroVironment and the designer of the human-powered aircraft that won the first Kremer prize. He devoted his life to developing more efficient transportation vehicles that could "Do more with less".


The Southampton University Man Powered Aircraft (or SUMPAC) on 9 November 1961 became the first human-powered aircraft to make an officially authenticated take-off and flight. It was designed and built by Southampton university students between 1960 and 1961 for an attempt at the Kremer prize, but it was never able to complete the 'figure-of-eight' course specified to claim the prize money.

Shafter, California

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The city is located along State Route 43. Suburbs of Shafter include Myricks Corner, North Shafter, Smith's Corner, and Thomas Lane.

Solar-Powered Aircraft Developments Solar One

The Solar-Powered Aircraft Developments Solar One is a British mid-wing, experimental, manned solar-powered aircraft that was designed by David Williams and produced by Solar-Powered Aircraft Developments under the direction of Freddie To. On 19 December 1978 it became one of the first solar-powered aircraft to fly, after the unmanned AstroFlight Sunrise and the manned Mauro Solar Riser, and the first successful British solar-powered aircraft.

Taras Kiceniuk Jr.

Taras Kiceniuk Jr. (born c. May 14,1954) is a hang glider pioneer from southern California.

Kiceniuk began building hang gliders in 1971 while still in high school. At first he flew his gliders near Palomar Mountain where his father was curator of the Palomar Observatory but later began flying at Torrey Pines Glider Port in La Jolla. He soon moved from the traditional Rogallo wing design to a rigid flying wing biplane design he called Icarus. Icarus I is now at the Smithsonian Institution awaiting restoration and display. Kiceniuk set several endurance records with Icarus II. Icarus III and Icarus IV were abandoned in the design phase in favor of a monoplane configuration for Icarus V. Icarus V was a precursor to the modern rigid wing hang glider. In 2005 Icarus V was one of eight ultralight aircraft displayed at the Experimental Aircraft Association's Tribute to Ultralight Pioneers exhibit at their AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Kiceniuk was also a contender for the first Kremer Prize for human-powered flight. His human-powered aircraft was actually a ground effect vehicle that flew only inches above the ground. He later worked with Dr. Paul MacCready on MacCready's Gossamer Albatross.

University of Maryland Gamera II human-powered helicopter

The University of Maryland Gamera II is an improved human-powered helicopter designed to win the US$250,000 Sikorsky Prize.

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