People always have been trying to fly in the same way as birds do. Beside my grandad, as I’ve posted before, there are more people who inspired me through the years. You guys all know Leonardo Da Vinci’s first flying machine sketches. And some of you might know Otto Lilienthal, who’s responsible for the kickoff in our history of aviation.
A lot of people don’t know Da Vinci wasn’t the first. Almost 1200 years ago Abbas Ibn Firnas designed a set of wings which he intended to fly with. Many years later, around 1475, Leonardo Da Vinci designed his human powered ornithopter which in turn still inspires many other flying enthousiasts over the world. Both pioneers are big inspirators to me, because their dream wasn’t just a dream, but something they sacred believed in.
I listed some ‘post Da Vinci’ birdwing projects that are motivating me to go realize my own concept. In the basis they are quite similar to my idea, unfortunately most of them never got off the ground… But still all of these concepts have something useful to implement in my own design, below I’ll shortly tell you what and why.
Otto Lilienthal was the first one who made various succesful glides through the air. I treasure his experimental approach and the fact that his life was completely marked by flying. Unfortunately it also caused his death..
George R. White made succesfull testflights with his flapping wing machine. He used his leg muscles to power the wingmechanism. This proves that human muscles can deliver enough power to move large sized wings. Using fractions of muscular power is something I have in mind as well.
J.J. Bourcart made a ‘velocipede aerial’, or flying bicycle was in some way the predecessor of George White’s concept. I feel a strong connection with his simplistic, but sharp-cut approach.
R.J. Spalding designed a Flying Machine and succesfully patented it in 1889. I saw his sketches many years ago at an exhibition called “The Dream of Flight”, and must say it really opened my eyes. I implemented quite a big part of his philosophy in my concept.
For next post I’m planning to make a video in which I’ll reveal my concept in more details.