Building a semi human powered flying device

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Jarno, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Well as been said, flapping isn't necessarily the way to go, but we know about what it takes to build an actual ornithopter:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E77j1imdhQ

    It weighs 42 kg and has a 32 meter wingspan (which should also give you an idea of how much weight/wing area is/can be involved.) and it has sustained both altitude and airspeed for 19.3 seconds, but AFAIK, no one has been able to get one to take off completely on it's own, from level ground, in no wind conditions.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4VoYrm-wjU

    Of course duration/distance/turning has been a challenge for all of these human powered craft.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lc7q6l7c32I&feature=related
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
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  3. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    I've watched that snowbird video like 20 times now. I just love the shot of it taking off with the rising sun in the background...with a perfect choice of background music...and it's graceful wing flaps starting as the music builds. Nice job on the video editors part.
     
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  5. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, but I'd not fly any of these current human powered craft higher than I cared to fall.
    They are built trading weight for reserve strength and are pretty much at the very edge of required strength and thus tend to have zip capacity to handle additional loads that would be imposed in gusty conditions.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygFSc7XNrMw
     
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  7. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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  8. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    The pilot has a nice ass.

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  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    What kind of control would you want that you do not have in a wingsuit?

    Birds die due to midair collisions and landing problems as well. We live on a canyon in San Diego and the edge of the canyon is often littered with birds with broken necks who fly into trees, walls, wires etc The air is a dangerous place.
     
  10. Daedelus Registered Senior Member

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    A wing suit is not flying, it is semi controlled falling.
    Little birds die when big birds slam into them and then they get eaten.

    The air is a dangerous place, but it's not the air that hurts you, it's the trees. wall, windows etc. And even among birds, flying is still the statistically safest way to travel, don't you know.

    Notice, I said "[died] because of air they could not deal with. Things birds handle quite easily." I did NOT say that birds could handle ALL conditions.
     
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    So is hang gliding. You can gain altitude in both sorts of vehicles, but at the end of the day you are still going to have to land. (And in both cases you can add a powerplant if you want to remain aloft longer.)

    Yep. And when they just plain run into things. Trees, skyscrapers, power lines, towers, cliffs - all hazards.

    Agreed - and that sudden stop that happens once you encounter them.
     
  12. Daedelus Registered Senior Member

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    You know very little about hang gliding. At the end of a good day of flying a hang glider, landing is good if there's a cold beer waiting.

    And you cannot 'gain altitude in a wingsuit.
     
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Agreed. Unpowered aircraft can stay up quite a long time.

    I've done it.
     
  14. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Never figured you for liking Asian boys Mac!

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  15. Daedelus Registered Senior Member

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    Skeptical me says, I doubt it. But by all means, convince me if you can. Any wing can turn speed into increased lift by raising the angle of attack, but intuition says there isn't enough wing area in a wingsuit to translate that increase into anything more than a brief reduction in speed. It may feel like a gain in altitude to you, but I seriously doubt there is an actual gain in altitude.
     
  16. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Billvon, is this what you are talking about when you say "wing suit" because I really can't see you being able to gain altitude with this little wing area:

    http://movieclips.com/Ds9L-transformers-dark-of-the-moon-movie-featurette-wingsuit-stunts/

    If you look at the downward velocity that has to be reached before they even become effective at "flying" there would have to be one heck of an updraft (sustained at >100 mph?) to translate that small amount of surface area to a positive rate of climb.
     
  17. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    After all this, and a similar thread being started, I did some Googling, and it turns out Jarno Smeets was so wrapped up in his clams, he decided to fake a video of his man powered ornithopter and post it online:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYW5G2kbrKk&feature=player_embedded#!

    Maybe he was using SF as a litmus test to see how many people would fall for his hoax?
     

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