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Snowbird: Amazing Human-Powered Airplane Flaps Its Wings Like A Bird (video)


At first, when I saw the title on Ecofriend talking about a human-powered aircraft, I said to myself that’s another hopeless, useless green achievement of somebody working hard for nothing.

Now, after I’ve seen the “bird” in action, my thoughts changed radically… after only 2 minutes. Indeed, it’s pretty useless at this stage, and, indeed, it’s human powered, but the thought of flying only powered by your own muscles amazes me.

The “Snowbird” ornithopter, as it was named, has a 32-meter wingspan (pretty much like the one of a 737) and weighs 42 kilos. It flew for a distance of 145 meters, for 19 seconds, at the speed of 25 km/h, without losing speed or altitude.

The steering was controlled entirely by the “captain”, Todd Reichert, from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), Canada.

I won’t keep your attention anymore… just watch the video below till the end:

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  1. Will you make an even bigger one for passengers and a team of ten pedaling? That way some can rest while others pedal. I think that’d good… unless you have to use the car.

  2. They need to demonstrate propulsion with either increased distance or hang time as this appears to be a very capable glider design. A little more detail please.


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