Here’s a video of a plane you’ve never seen before — one that, like a bird, flaps its wings.
The 94-pound ornithopter flew on August 2, the invention of University of Toronto Phd Todd Reichert. (My alma mater!)
From the Montreal Gazette:
Todd Reichert, an engineering graduate student and PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, accomplished the feat when he flew the aircraft “Snowbird” for 19.3 seconds on Aug. 2 at the Great Lakes Gliding Club in Tottenham, Ont.
The 42-kg plane made from carbon fibre, balsa wood and foam, travelled 145 metres at an average speed of 25.6 km/h during the flight.
“Our original goal was to complete this sort of, original aeronautical dream, to fly like a bird,” said 28-year-old Reichert on Wednesday. “The idea was to fly under your own power by flapping your wings.”
The four-year project, a brainchild of Reichert and student Cameron Robertson, was worked on by 30 students, including some from France and the Netherlands.
The plane, with a wingspan of 32 metres, was powered by Reichert, who pedalled with his legs, pulling down the wings to flap. He had to endure a year-long exercise regime to bulk up on muscle and lose nearly 10-kg so he could fly the aircraft.
I live to travel, love aircraft and have visited Kitty Hawk, N.C., the site of the Wright Brothers’ first short flights 107 years ago. Wish I’d been there!
More details here.