Build a Bird
Web Site Links
can build your own flapping-wing model that flies just like
a real bird! This exciting project is called an "ornithopter".
It can be completed by middle and high school students. Some
students will need help from an adult for some of the steps.
of other tutorials that claim to build an ornithopter from household
materials. They do not work, but this one does.
are two ways you can build your own ornithopter: either from
a model kit, or from the free plans on this web site. It is
much easier to start with the model kit, because it has special
components that make it easier to build.
way is to build the ornithopter from a kit. This way, you'll be
sure you have all the right materials, and the kit contains special
components that make the kit easier to build. The Gryphon kit is
available from BirdKit.com.
You can also build your ornithopter by printing the Freebird
plans on this web site. The plans are free, but you will need
special materials from your local hobby shop. These are listed in
the instructions. You will actually save time and money if you order
the kit instead. However building from plans is a great next step
to further develop your skills. With careful construction, you should
end up with a nice flying model either way! Teachers
may copy the plans for school use.
successfully completed your Freebird ornithopter, you can try many
different experiments. For example, you can try making the wings
bigger, or smaller, to see what happens. Also try changing the dimensions
of the flapping mechanism, or making new wings of your own design.
Maybe you can make it look or operate even more like a real bird!
Visit The Ornithopter Zone
for more ideas, and for more information on flapping-wing aircraft.