The Human Powered Ornithopter Project
Sponsored by: ???
(Created by
Matt Bailey

To build and fly the world’s first successful Human powered Ornithopter
Flight goal: two miles.

Other Human Powered Vehicles

Think of it as a hang glider that flaps its wings like a bird.
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The main spar (wing bones) and spars 'quills' will be constructed from a flexible carbon fiber composite. The 'feathers' are covered with Woven Polyester Fabric like a regular han glider. The surface area and weight are comprable to a hanglider.


  Tapered Spring Energy

Birds wings work like a tapered leaf springs. Their flexibility captures and releases energy through out the stroke. This is why fishing poles are tapered. Think of wing spars as 'flat fishing poles. So they will spring up-and-down, but not front-to-back.

The same principle applies to the 'quills' or spars. They taper from front to back to make the wing profile flex to be more flat on the downstroke then release that stored flex into a 'free' puff of energy at the bottom of the stroke.

  Materials Carbon fiber composites are extremely light and can be created with a wide range of properties. Although they are usually thought of as stiff like steel, with the proper epoxy resin they can be made with a high 'Young's Modulus' .. in other words 'springy'.
  Project Plan The project plan includes building a 1/2 scale RC model, Testing composite properties, building the full scale bird, then test flying. The timeline is 3 to 5 months. Exhibition flights could start in the spring of 2010 with proper funing.
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I am seeking corporate and / or private financial sponsorship You have to admit, it'll be a hell of a sight to see! ... worth paying for?

I'm also seeking engineers, fabricators, pilots, a documentary producer, or any one else that would like to be a part of this historic build. -- Move over Monster Garage!

email for more information on how to donate or contribute.

3D Modeling :

Concepts in 3D

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