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I'm not very sure if this topic goes in this section, but what the hell?

I have stumbled upon this website: http://www.ornithopter.net/ and apparently they produced an engine-powered human-piloted orni in 1999.

The whole research thing is still in the early stages (for piloted ornis). The bly-by-wire stuff is already produced and given the small scale they can fly pretty good.

On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornithopter they were saying that ornis are important for military porpuses because you can make a spying device look like an animal (bird, insect) and fly it to gather info. And no one would notice it.

So, probably in about 20 years we'll have a mass-production orni, who knows? :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

I remember this thing, it wasfrom Univeristy of Toronto and it was kept in Canadian Air & Space Museum, where I volunteered on financial committee and as accountant. That was all before the leasor kicked the museum out.

The interesting thing about it was that it only rose a bit off the ground and it had a small engine attached to the back to give it extra boost at take off. The problem with flapping wings is that when wings go down the plane is pushed up and when the wings go up the plane is pushed down. The result is 0 consistent lift but small hopes. These guys solved the problem I think using that booster engine. They did not exactly disclose details of the project to us since it is their research.

Now wing flapping works for birds because of their feather structure. The wings plat down and the feathers arranged so they push against the air but when bird raises the wings the feathers allow the air to smoothly move over the wings and through them thus preventing it from pushing the bird down.

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Also the bird wing is way more flexible and changes shape in flight as not to push the bird down when the wing goes up. Still, the bird wing is a very complex thing. Given our materials today we should focus on the insect wings. Those are close as structure to what we can produce now.

My two cents :D

Still, the whole thing those guys did there is awesome.

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