I briefly want to share some of my sketches and theories on the human birdwings I’m planning to build. Hopefully this will explain some of the basic principals I have in mind a bit more. To explain it even better I’m also working on a 3d animated visualisation, which I hope to post very soon as well. I’ll split the information in two parts:
Wings and rotating mechanisms.
The wingspan will be around 12m, the wingsurface 15m2. I’m going to use my Slingshot Fuel 17m2 kite for the membrane wingsurface. This will weigh about 70 grams for every square meter, so in total that will be around 1050 grams.
For extra lift and control I’m thinking about stretching a piece of kitefabric between the legs. Not sure yet about using feather like wingtips to control, and figuring out which rotation system will suit. These two seem most interesting at the moment.
Kjell’s Wiggle Drive:
Assistive power expansion.
My back-of-the-napkin calculations say that we would need about 2000W of continuous power. Well-trained arms can output about 5% of that, so we will rely mainly on the motor for flapping the wings. Lightweight motors that output 2000W aren’t hard to find. My first goal is to stay in the air for about 5 minutes, therefore we will need a 166 watthour batterypack, which weighs around 1400 grams.
Because human arms aren’t very strong, they will mainly function as guides, to control the flapping wing movements in a natural and intuitive way. These calculation are made for an ideal situation. Any inefficiencies aren’t taken into account, this will be found out by trial and error.
By the way, it looks like I found a very affordable and large old space inside an abandoned factory building. Perfect for building my wings, going to visit it next week and keep you posted!