ABOUT ORNITHOPTERS
 
 Introduction
 Manned Ornithopters
 Full History

HOW TO
 
 Getting Started
 How to Design & Build
 Competition Info

MEDIA
 
 Free Plans
 Newsletter
 History Archive
 Video Clips

RESOURCES
 
 Model Kits
 Teachers Guide
 Web Site Links

ABOUT
 
 About this Site
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 Contact Info

 

























Getting Started

   
  Model kit from BirdKit.com, a good way to start building ornithopters.
Seeing them fly is amazing, but it is not easy to build an ornithopter. You can improve your chances of success if you start off with a proven design before beginning your own experiments. In fact, your best bet is to start off with one of the simple, rubber-band-powered ornithopters, instead of launching right into a much more complex design with electric motor and radio control. Although the rubber-powered models may seem antiquated, the experience of building one will teach you many important concepts that will help ensure the success of your future endeavors.

We have provided some free plans on this web site, which you can use to build your own ornithopters. These are all proven designs. However, they are not all suitable for beginners. You may find it easier if you get started with a simple model kit, like those available from BirdKit.com. The special parts in the kit, such as the pre-bent crank wire and interlocking wood parts, will save you a lot of headaches.You will also save money because the kit costs less than buying all of the materials separately.

There are a few things you should watch out for. Beware of any tutorials that supposedly show you how to build an ornithopter from "household materials". These sub-standard ornithopters will not fly. There is also a product called the Quest "EZ" Ornithopter, which we hear is not as easy to build as the name might suggest. Any ornithopter model kit that uses a lot of plastic and bamboo in its construction (instead of balsa wood) is not likely to fly very well. Those materials are simply too heavy.

Once you get started with a simple model kit, or the free plans, you can go to the next page and start learning how to design and build your own ornithopters.