Human Powered Aircraft Race Heats Up

I’ve been spending this week at the world’s first internationally sanctioned human-powered aircraft race, the Icarus Cup, embedded with Team Betterfly, headed by amateur builder David Barford. Barford, 44, builds Formula One engines for Mercedes-Benz, and has no background in aeronautics and has never flown an airplane. He spent eight years building Betterfly in his garage, with no aim in mind than a passion to see if he could pedal himself into the air. Well, remarkably, his team currently stands at the top of the leader board, ahead of three university teams and two other aircraft built by professional aircraft designers. Here’s footage of a 200-meter flight Barford took Monday evening. It was taken by Stephen Warrick.

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