GEEK - Challenges unmet: Unclaimed prizes in science and technology

This month, after more than 30 years of waiting, a team of engineers finally claimed the Sikorsky Prize. The challenge was to build a human-powered helicopter, a goal that’s been called impossible since Da Vinci scribbled out a crude drawing of the goal hundreds of years ago. The winners collected a purse worth a quarter of a million dollars, and set a new standard for light-weight aeronautical engineering. Would the goal have ever been reached without that prize on the table?

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