Flying Dutchman Successfully Flies With Custom-Built Bird Wings

Flying Dutchman Successfully Flies With Custom-Built Bird Wings

A Dutch engineer named Jarno Smeets claims to have achieved birdlike flight with a set of man-made wings in a video that has spread rapidly around the internet.

In a video shot at a park in the Hague on March 18, Mr Smeets is seen using his arms to flap the wings as he appears to successfully achieve take-off, flight and landing, like an albatross, the bird that inspired his winged-man invention.

“I have always dreamed about this. But after 8 months of hard work, research and testing it all payed off,” Smeets said on his YouTube page.

Smeets got the idea from sketches of a futuristic flying bicycle drawn by his grandfather, who spent much of his life designing the contraption but never actually built it.

When Smeets began studying engineering at Coventry University in England, he realized the physics of a flying bicycle just didn’t pan out. Instead, he drew inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci’s wing drawings to build his flying machine. Along with neuromechanics expert Bert Otten, Smeets brought his design into reality

The design is based on mechanics used in robotic prosthetics. The idea is to give his muscles extra strength so they can carry his body weight during the flight.

The authenticity of this video has been questioned (Gizmodo, The Register), but Wired’s preliminary analysis by physicist Rhett Allain suggests the video is not necessarily a fake.

Follow the project here: http://www.humanbirdwings.net or on facebook

More at The Dutch Daily News

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