Aerovelo has created some incredible human-powered vehicles. Since 2010 this Canadian company has flown the first every flapping wind aircraft “Snowbird”, won the Sikorsky-Prize for the first human-powered helicopter “Atlas” and built the fastest human-powered vehicle “Eta”. On September 17th, 2016, Aerovelo broke their existing record by reaching the unbelievable speed of 89.59 mph (144.17 km/hr).
The Eta bike cradles the rider, Reichert, within a carbon fiber chassis. Wrapped around that is an almost perfectly aerodynamic shell. Lyng almost horizontally on his back for the most streamlined position he views the road through a camera. This means there is no need for any windows giving the ETA a bizarrely futuristic look. It also means that information such as speed can be displayed directly in the view.
The name Eta is taken from the Greek letter often used for efficiency in engineering equations. Efficient it certainly is, if the rider was replaced by a petrol engine the equivilent efficiency would be 9544 mpg! The total weight of the bike is 25kg and it uses 650c tires.
The record was set at Battle Mountain, Nevada. This is the regular location of the World Human Powered Speed Challenge. It provides a 5 mile straight and flat course at over 1,000 m elevation. The after 1.5 miles to build up speed the bikes are timed over a 200 m stretch.
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