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. Most
students will need help from an adult for some of the steps.
of other tutorials that claim to build an ornithopter from household
materials. Many of them don't work, but this one does.
You 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 or online.
These are listed in the instructions. With careful construction,
you should end up with a nice flying model! 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.