LiveBIG Staff, August 3, 2017

Sometimes you find yourself late in the week and looking for a little inspiration: Someone who, despite all the odds, despite whatever forces (like, say, gravity) are aligned against their person, rises up and overcomes to achieve great heights.

And then you find something that makes the metaphor a reality.

Behold the University of Maryland?s Gamera Project?s solar-powered helicopter.

This flight took place about a year ago in September 2016. While we prefer to live in the now here at LiveBIG, but in true #ThrowbackThursday spirit, it?s important to look back on moments like these and not forget what true achievement looks like.

The Gamera Project started out making a human-powered helicopter in 2012 thanks to the AHS Sikorsky Prize. In 2011, Gamera I flew for a record 11 seconds. They next year they improved on the design and launched Gamera II for a total flight time of 49.9 seconds. Here?s what that looked like:

And then in 2016, on its sixth test flight, Gamera?s solar-powered helicopter flew for nine seconds and achieved a foot in height.

And it's kinda mesmerizing.

If you want a longer look at what it took to go from human to solar power, the video below is four minutes well-spent. Or check out the Gamera Project?s archives here.