Ornithopter flies

Sucessful (if short) flight of a manned ornithopter (flapping wing)

Aero-news article:

Home page:

It wasn’t a pure ornithopter, it was assisted by a (model) jet engine, but still very cool.


Great - there’s ANOTHER endorsement I have to get. :smack:

Thought I was done for a while when I got signed off for tailwheel…

And here I’m thinking to myself, after reading the title, “Well, they’ll be easy to swat!”

Well, that flight didn´t end too well, did it? Very interesting none the less; I´ve been keeping loose watch on the progress of this thing for a couple years and it´s nice to see it improving.

It´s worth mentioning that this isn´t the first flight of a manned ornithopter, although it doesn´t specify if the design could take off on its own (I suspect it couldn´t unless it had outriggers on the wings) In any case a plane that can fly at 120 km/h on a 10 HP engine is quite remarkable.
I think that, from a design point of view the Schmid plane is better, the propulsion and lifting surfaces are separated so the engine tranmission doesn´t have to be quite as strong to withstand moving the bulk of the plane up and down and the wings can be lighter and stronger; I bet it had a smoother ride too. :smiley:

Ornithopters are fun, I´ve designed and built a few free flight ones and they are a thrill to watch in flight.

Aero-news does mention the German plane.
retry of link:


Only good thing about Ornithopters is sacrificing them to Lords of the Pit or Tinkers.