Atlas' pilot, Todd Reichert, sits on a modified $10,000 professional racing bike frame donated by the manufacturer. Spools at the base of each pedal take up synthetic cord which feeds from larger spools located beneath each rotor hub.
Team members tweak a wingtip aileron used to control the lateral drift of the helicopter. Unlike Gamera, the rival aircraft built by students at the University of Maryland, Atlas's control system was an integral part of its design from the beginning, and this proved a crucial advantage.
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