Thursday, September 23, 2010

Student is First to Fly by Flapping Wings...

I guess flying by flapping isn't just for the birds after all....
At least this is the case for record breaking Canadian engineering student Todd Reichert who flew and sustained an altitude of 19.3 seconds of a distance of 475 feet, traveling at an average speed of 16 miles per hour. Oh, and did I mention this 'wing flapping' plane is also human-powered with pedals...!
Reichert, 28, lost 18 pounds over the summer in his quest to fly the Snowbird, which has a 105-foot wingspan (just six feet shorter than a Boeing 737) and weighs just 94 pounds. It is made of carbon fiber and balsa wood. He actually flew the craft by pedaling with his legs, the Toronto Star reports. Pulleys and ropes attached to the wings would pull down when he pedaled forward, and the wing spar would bring them back up. The aircraft even sang as the wind blew past the airfoil and support lines, according to the Star. It was the Aeolian tone, a musical tone generated by wind blowing over an object.

via popsci

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