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World’s Swiftest Bike

Their human-powered helicopter hovered into the history books, staying aloft for over 60 seconds and winning the $1 million Sikorsky prize from the American Helicopter Society.
Then a team of University of Toronto engineering graduates and students led by Cameron Robertson sought to create the world’s fastest human-powered bicycle.
AeroVelo‘s prototype vehicle, dubbed Eta after the Greek letter that symbolizes ‘efficiency,’ is a two-wheeled bullet designed to significantly surpass highway speed limits on less than 1 horse power. Aerodynamic sheathing and a high-performance transmission could enable the vehicle hit a projected top speed of 145 km/hr (91 mph).


In September 2015, Aerovelo’s Eta Speedbike set a new world record in human powered speed by going 139.45 km/hr (86.65 mph), besting the record of 133.8 km/hr (83 mile per hour) set by a Dutch vehicle at the 2013 World Human-Powered Speed Challenge at Battle Mountain, Nevada.

In addition their record-breaking Atlas human-powered helicopter, AeroVelo’s innovation lab also designed the world’s first a human-powered ornithopter, the Snowbird.

AeroVelo spent years refining the Speedbike’s design, testing several models (2014 photo, below) and suffering setbacks. Eta’s success, however, rests as much on the “pedal power” of the athletic team members training and driving it as on the engineering and design.

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