Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Free Bird Rubber Powered Ornithopter

Several years ago some of my indoor flying gang built the Free Bird ornithopter from plans found on the internet. The plans can still be found or you can purchase a kit. An "ornithopter" is a flapping wing flying device, it flies much like a bird. A bird bends it's wing in flight also besides just flapping up and down. On the model ornithopter just the leading edge is rigid and the rest of the surface is loose so it can change shape in flight.

My Free Bird Ornithopter Flying

Closeup of Free Bird Ornithopter


My friend Floyd got his ornithopter to fly really pretty well as seen in one picture it was stuck on a beam over 20 feet from the floor. Mine did fly after some help with getting the linkages bent just right.  When I did my presentation on The Pioneers of Flight I flew my Free Bird ornithopter as part of the presentation to show how man had thought of flapping wing flight since ancient times. Leonardo DaVinci had created drawings of a flapping wing machine but never did build it. I also have an electric radio control dragon fly that has two flapping wings that flies in much the same manner.
RC Dragonfly

Holding Ornithopter at Pioneers of Aviation Presentation


A friend flies radio control ornithopter.

Links to Learn More

Free Bird Construction Article & Plans

Ornithopter Zone

Bill Kuhl

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