Started with Ornithopters
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
ornithopters are powered by winding up a rubber band. These
rubber band powered ornithopters are the least expensive to build,
and they can be flown indoors. Building and flying these ornithopters
is a great way for kids to learn about science and how to work as
a team. You can have a competition in the school gym to see who
can get the longest flight time.
For your first ornithopter, begin by constructing a proven
design from the Ornithopter Society's Freebird
Plans. Like the name says, it's free.
the right materials is
important. There are kits and online tutorials where you build
an ornithopter from things you find around the house or heavy
plastic and bamboo. Many of these will not fly, after all
of your hard work.
Building a rubber
band powered ornithopter is also the best way for adults to get
started with ornithopters. Although
the rubber band powered ornithopters may not seem like cutting edge
technology, you will learn a lot of things that will help you later
of any tutorials that show you how to build an ornithopter from
"household materials". It's important to use the right
materials so your ornithopter will fly. There are some poorly made
ornithopter kits on the market. They use a lot of plastic and bamboo
in their construction. Using these heavy materials instead of balsa
wood makes them fly poorly. Some of these kits are advertised for
beginners but are actually frustrating to build.
Freebird Plans offer a proven design,
which will give you a good introduction to building your own ornithopters.
We also provide several other designs,
for the more advanced builder.
through the How To section of this
web site, for more information on ornithopter design and construction
techniques. You will progress more quickly if you study what
has been successful in the past.
The second type
of ornithopter is powered by an electric motor. Electric ornithopters
are more difficult to design and build. These ornithopters range
from 10 cm wingspan "micro air vehicles" to the size of
an eagle. They are often radio controlled, and they can carry payloads
such as cameras. The first challenge is constructing a reliable
gearbox and flapping mechanism that will provide enough power for
your ornithopter to fly. Once you have accomplished that, you will
find that getting an ornithopter to steer properly can be just as
difficult. As you overcome each of the challenges that your ornithopter
can present, you will advance your knowledge of building techniques,
electronics, and the principles of flight.
to Design and Build Ornithopters