What would it take with today’s technology to build and fly a practical ornithopter? (Flown by a human pilot of course.) Has anybody ever come close?
I asked a similar question a day or so ago but it seems to have disappeared.
Doesn’t seem that ornithopters are terribly practical as a manned flying machine but it has been done.
More info on various attempts: http://www.ornithopter.org/manned.shtml
I guess it depends on your definition of practical. They can be made to fly, but engineering the wings to flap up and down seems to be a lot more work than just having a propeller push the plane. Watching the video of one operating I couldn’t help expecting to see the wings snap right off.