Ornithopter Snowbird takes flight

News of an ornithopter with a wing span almost as wide as a Boeing 737 made it into my daily morning newspaper.

The ornithopter, known as the Snowbird, was created by Canadian engineers, from the University of Toronot’s Institute for Aerospace Studies, has flown and stayed aloft by flapping its wings like a bird while the pilot in the cockpit pedalled furiously to stay up in the air.

The aircraft maintained altitude and airspeed for nearly 20s covering 145m(475ft) at an average speed of 25.6kph (16mph).

See a great picture from the University website.

“This represents one of the last of the aviation firsts,” said Todd Reichert, the pilot and project manager, said in a statement.

During my commute this morning I wondered if Flight covered ornithopters of times gone by.

Here’s what I found…

Ornithopters search term 

The problems with ornithopters

Flight provided a definition of terms in February 1909. Read about half way down in the second column for an Ornithopter definition.

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One Response to Ornithopter Snowbird takes flight

  1. Mark Iliff 24 September, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    “University of Toronot” – snigger!

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