By Gordon James Gianninoto
Is this the first human to fly like a bird? Astonishin?g video of inventor ‘taking off’ on kite-like wings using convention?al technology assists.
I can’t believe most people think this creative invention is not real; that it is an animation. I remember in 1971, in NYC, where I lived at the time, street vendors suddenly started selling a plastic bird which had an elastic that you wound up and then it took off and flew by flapping its wings. A man in France had invented, patented, manufactured and sold millions of them. It was quite a sensation, in all the media. The novelty was that no one had EVER invented something that actually flew by flapping wings like a bird. The secret was the oval wing action at the shoulder that allowed the wing to catch air, press it down, and then bring the wing forward without catching the air. The repeated strokes downward allowed the model bird to rise. For thousands of years no one had ever figured it out. If you have ever gone swimming, you get the idea.
Now this invention is a step above the bird, because it uses small powerful electric motors controlled by motion sensitive Wii handset parts combined with accelerometers from HTC mobile phones. That, plus 200 sq ft of wing, enable the man to take off by running and flapping. He appears to ascend to 100 feet or less and clearly goes 300 feet without trouble, gliding in for a running landing. I have no problem with it. I am absolutely sure this is possible. Look, spy agencies have created little flapping spy insects carrying motors, cameras, zoom lenses, batteries, transmitters and receivers, all small enough to fit in the palm of a hand. Not only that, but some of these spy insects can hover for hours.
I will tell you this: I want one. I don’t want to jump off a cliff with a hang glider or an ultralight. I want to take off from a field, and fly around a bit, and why not? God, that looks great. Go to the Daily Mail link to see it or the 14th part of the Youtube series. I hope the FAA doesn’t come up with regulations for it that regulate ultralights to a total weight of 250 pounds including the aircraft. Anything weighing more than that is an ‘aircraft’ subject to thousands of pages of rules and pilot license laws. I imagine this flapping wing device could use a small jet or gas engine to go higher and faster, as batteries drain and die. To me, this is all very exciting. What do you think?
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