• 18th October 2008 - By adventuresofgreg

    Man, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged… I’ve been busy and I guess there just hasn’t been much news of interest to report. Until just now.

    It seems that the 24 hour human powered vehicle record from 2006 in Eureka, CA was picked up by the editors of the 2009 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. There is a photo of Critical Power on page 113 directly beside Richard Branson – one of my hero’s. That is quite a thrill for me!

    I actually met Richard Branson when we were on a family vacation in Maui. We were walking on the beach at night looking up at the Hale-Bopp comet – remember that? And we walked right into Sir Richard Branson who was out for a stroll with his family. I introduced myself and shook his hand.

    Ever since then Richard has become quite a nuisance. You know, constantly asking me for favors, advice, etc, etc… Now that we’re together on the same page of the Guinness book, I’ll never hear the end of it…

    Other news is that Guinness has ratified the 245.16 km human powered boat distance record from Whitefish Lake last month. The IHPVA still hasn’t ratified it – that could take years (seriously).

    I am training rather hard these days trying to increase my short-term power output, which, after so much training this summer, is very impressively average. My coach is Jason Yanota and the goal is to try to get my power output up to somewhere near 280 to 300 watts for an hour. There is an intermediate challenge that I am focusing on that will require at least 250 watts straight for one hour.

    I’ll say more about the intermediate challenge when my NEW BIKE arrives! Training for this will prepare me for a much bigger goal on my horizon: A Human Powered Flight record. Here are a few ideas I’ve been playing around with:

    Any ideas, suggestions, hints, thoughts, questions about HPA’s – let me have’em. I’m not sure exactly what kind of record, or what kind of human powered airplane this would be – or even if I will build it. Just doing some information gathering and learning work before planing the details of a new record attempt.

    This is not to suggest that Pedal The Ocean trans Atlantic project is off. One of my goals this early winter is to start construction of the new ocean crossing vessel. Nimbus kayaks is interested in building it for me, or I could build it myself – I’m open to ideas. If anyone knows of a good boat builder, please let me know.

  • 12 Comments to “Critical Power in the 2009 Guinness Book”

    • Anonymous on October 19, 2008

      Good for you Greg!
      On the Human Powered Aircraft idea… that is a REALLY big nut to crack! I have been interested in that idea (as an artist/engineer and not a aviation engineer) for several years now. I built an extremely CRUDE HPA in 03 for a Red Bull Flugtag event and have since really gotten interested in the concept. It's really very hard. Though it's probably a dead-end, I have been thinking about the Custer Channel Wing design as a light HPA concept. But that is the sculptor in me. Oh, by the way… human powered aircraft tend to crash.

      Good luck,

    • Marcel Zwiers on October 19, 2008

      Hi Greg,

      Congratulations for making it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

      On your A Human Powered Flight record; You might wanne check out these guy's from Delft University: Team Icarus. (http://www.teamicarus.com)

      [I just see that the site is not working at this moment. Don't know why?]

      I did contenplate on applying for pilot/cyclist…

      I wish all the luck and will try and follow your new adventure…

    • John Snyderex on October 20, 2008

      Hovercraft, Greg. Building and setting new records for Human Powered Hovercraft is ripe for some exciting advancements.

      Some work has been done in Britain and Holland in the past ten years. It might be the ideal place to begin experimenting and to perfect construction methods before going for higher altitude.

    • Anonymous on October 20, 2008

      Perhaps new material technology can help get you off the ground!
      Buckypaper http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20081017/ap_on_hi_te/tec_buckypaper

    • Neil Martyn on October 20, 2008

      Well Greg, I guess an HPA is the obvious, though extremely challenging, next step!
      Possible challenges are:
      An intercontinental flight – USA to Russia across the Bering Strait.
      Break the speed record – currently standing at just under 20 mph.(http://records.fai.org/manpowered/history.asp?id1=178&id2=1&id3=29)
      Altitude – there is no official or unofficial record for this, possibly thanks to the old saying 'Don't fly higher than you're willing to fall'!

      If you take on an aviation challenge, be under no illusions – technically it'll be your toughest challenge yet.

      Good Luck,

      Neil, UK

    • Martin Pernicka on October 20, 2008

      I knew it was only question of time to see you lifting the head – and realizing, "hey, there is something I can do about it?"
      Not so easy to pedal THIS ocean though…

      In the human power records, related to the AIR: One that still was not broken – and price is sitting there to be claimed: the Human Power Helicopter. Several universities have designed and build prototypes, but non really succeeded. There is a site for related regulations etc, I passed by thees some time go – but did not kept records…
      UdeM tried too here, in Canada, looked promising last year with the rottor placed under he rider: right into the ground effect!

      Worth of looking into it?

      All the best with the ocean crossing, – to practice thay legs for the next, Air Oriented Adventure! (AOA) 🙂

      Martin, /Montreal

    • Jeff Hoyt on October 20, 2008

      I can't understand why it should take the IHPVA more than a month to ratify Greg's record. It is not like they are receiving droves of record setting documentation for review every month. Slow ratification makes them seem uninterested and hurts the human power movement when trying to showcase what is possible with human power. By letting the Guiness group get the jump on them, the IHPVA risks losing their relevance to the mass media and the rest of us. RATIFY GREG NOW!

    • hyz on October 21, 2008

      In Tobermory, they're building a Flycycle: "The intent of the Flycycle Project is to build a human powered aircraft that is 100% practical; the first human powered aircraft to be built in Canada" http://www.tobermory.org/links.html

      The site of the Flycycle doesn't work: http://www.flycycleart.webcentre.ca/

      A friend of me helped there: http://egel.org/drupal/node/73
      See also Picture's at this site (foto's->het vliegtuig)

      Enjoy your new project(s)!
      The Netherlands

    • Roland Smith on October 23, 2008

      The current distance/endurance record for a human-powered aircraft is already quite hefty; 74 miles and just under 4 hours.

      See MIT's Daedalus. Note that this craft was so fragile that some gusts of wind snapped the tail boom and the main spar! And it was only 31 kg.

    • Titus van den Brink on October 31, 2008

      check this out for boat building:



    • tom mallard on February 13, 2009

      Most recent work has major changes that will allow FAA cert wings and fuselage for a human powered soaring glider, the design goal.

      #Able to change chord thickness quickly and accurately, 2-3 seconds, allows the wing to speed up to 80-kts is a goal.
      #Rudder is moved to become the aft part of the fuselage.
      #Elevator moved to strut on upper fuselage to eliminate the tail entirely.
      #Wings have to "bolt-on" for traveling.
      #Reduce fuselage volume as much as possible.
      #Airframe based on custom I-beam construction.
      #OTS whenever possible.

      From the rough design drawings:
      Fuselage frontal area: 11sf/1m^2
      Fuselage surface area: 100sf/9.3m^2
      Wing Area: 194sf/18m^2
      Aspect Ratio: 8
      AUW: 260lb/118kg

      Could be pusher prop, I like the prop in front but the wash can make it not worth it.

      Anyway, the controls and variometer of course but also some new ones that'll help the pilot with making the right choices on settings quickly in a situation.

      Am trying now to get it into cad, then use x-plane to "fly"it and get thrust data and stuff, 1/6th model planned soon, have Profili to help with that.

      Best regards,

      tom m

    • Anonymous on April 21, 2009

      hey greg
      ye you should use that plane design on there now but instead of pedal power use it like a leg press for and a good gear selector with about 20 gears on it and be sitting up instead of lying down and have it so there is a front propeller and another 1 right behind were you will be sat andflywheels on them to keep momentum and the frame made out of pvc im gonna try it meself at sum stage good luck

      barry w

    Leave a Reply