A team at the University of Maryland has been taking human powered flight to new heights. Or, rather, lengths, by setting a new US record for flight duration of 49.9 seconds with its Gamera II rotorcraft. The benchmark event actually took place in June, but only received the all important plaudits from the National Aeronautic Association on August 9. Gamera II builds on its predecessor (unsurprisingly, Gamera I) by featuring improved transmission, rotor design and a redesigned cockpit. Not content with smashing the previous craft's record of 11.4 seconds, the team plans to fly a further refined version of the copter with longer blades and other fine tuning later this month. The 49.9 second flight has also been submitted to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale for World, rather than American-record verification. The guys at Maryland might want to keep an eye over their shoulders though, as it looks like someone else already has their eyes on that prize. Video evidence after the break.