Friday, September 24, 2010

Human-Powered Ornithopter Becomes First Ever to Achieve Sustained Flight

ScienceDaily (Sep. 22, 2010) — Aviation history was made when the University of Toronto's human-powered aircraft with flapping wings became the first of its kind to fly continuously.

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For centuries engineers have attempted such a feat, ever since Leonardo da Vinci sketched the first human-powered ornithopter in 1485.

But under the power and piloting of Todd Reichert, an Engineering PhD candidate at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), the wing-flapping device sustained both altitude and airspeed for 19.3 seconds, and covered a distance of 145 metres at an average speed of 25.6 kilometres per hour.

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