Wednesday 29 September 2010

Snowbird. the World's first Human-Powered Ornithopter

The Snowbird flew into history recently when it continuously flapped its wings with both a sustained altitude and airspeed for 19.3 seconds, covering a distance of 145 meters at an average speed of 26.5 kilometers per hour.

The ornithopter was designed and constructed by a team of engineering students led by Todd Reichert, Cameron Robertson and Professor Emeritius James D. DeLaurier from the University of Toronto.

According to lead developer and project manager Todd Reichert; the Snowbird represents one of the last of the aviation firsts and the completion of an age-old aeronautical dream: "Throughout history, countless men and women have dreamt of flying like a bird under their own power, and hundreds, if not thousands have attempted to achieve it."

Whilst this is an incredibly stunning achievement the craft, as we can see in the video, is towed for the initial couple of hundred meters to provide lift. Nevertheless if they continue to develop it, they may yet find way for it to be totally self-sufficient !

The cool music for the video was provided by Nicholas Marten and Daniel Gauthier.
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