Project timeline

28 February 2012

At the beginning of February the Netherlands was covered with snow. So unfortunately I couldn’t go forward with new outdoor tests. Instead, I had to relax, build some snowmans and do some iceskating. I guess this distractions was good for the mind too. Furthermore the wings had to be disassembled because the first testflight was hard on the mechanics. Also the cold didn’t do much good for the fabric. So I have been fixing parts for a while. In the meantime a great interview about my project has been published in weekly HUMO

20 January 2012

First test flight!
Nothing much say about it, because you just have to check my video!

Right here –>
First testflight 
A lot of people of course shared their views on my short video:
Assembled blogpost of most interesting articles
Wired posted an interesting article with some calculations
And three geeks made a fun podcast about it 


13 January 2012
Three weeks ago I had the honour to welcome a tv-crew of a regional tvchannel into my workplace. They wanted to know all about my wings and  made a nice featurette out of it. The item was planned to be broadcasted this week…unfortunately the sport-reporters took the laptop (with my item on it) abroad. Bummer! Maybe you (and me!) will see something of that next week.

Luckily Tara Roskell from Ideas Uploaded had a cool alternative. Some time ago Tara asked me to give answers to her curious questions, and voilà…today she posted a very elaborate interview with me about my wings. Thanks Tara!

5 January 2012
The wings are now put together (check the video), but they still need finetuning. The system needs calibration etc. So when its time for the first flight test I will share all the fun with you all on this blog and my Youtube channel.

Check the blogpost for more details.

30 December 2011
In the passed weeks I worked on the construction of the wing. By now I have cut the aerodynamic ribs that support the shape of the wing and the adjusting of the surfacematerial (made out of an Slingshot Fuel kite). I attached them to the flightpins and tried them on the backpart of the harness.

Check the blogpost here to see how the ribs are made

22 December 2011
I tested the flapping of the wings with the electronic mechanism with the Wii controllers And the result is fantastic. It works! This means that I can fully control the wings with my arms now and can try flying soon.

For the video in which I show this check this blogpost. I posted a detailed drawing of the system earlier, check here.

14 December 2011
By now the design of the harness is finished. The aluminum framework has been bend into its final shape. We also layed out the wingsurface and started on a plan for the final fase of the construction of the wing.

Check the blogpost (with video)

6 December 2011
For weeks I have been programming the HTC phone and the Wii remote to work together in order to let them flap my wings in the right movement.

For a detailed explanation on how this should work, check this blogpost  (with drawing), and here is the video to show you the result.

30 November 2011
Helping hands arrived! Bas, Tygo and Orhan helping me out with technical work and the construction of the wings. We finally were able to test the turnigy motors with the HTC phones! Together with my friend Orhan I was able to collect the acceleration data of the WiiMote and the HTC WildfireS. So we combined the accelerometers. This will be needed to measure armspeed and control both outrunners in a way that they assist the flapping of the wings. Again a small step closer to my dream.
To read more, check the blogpost 

I also found a camera woman! Floor Pietersen is going to help me documenting and editing the videos of this project. Check the blogpost here.

2 November 2011
Most of the necessary parts arrived at my working space. Still waiting for the motors and Lipo batteries, but expecting them next week. pfff, can’t wait any longer! I also realize that I might need some help with building these wings.

Check the blogpost 

14 Oktober 11
Two weeks ago I finished my 3D sketches. Well, sort of. I made some adjustments in the sketches after finding out that some parts weren’t available in the size I calculated in my design. Not a big problem, because its all about the weights of course. And my estimations in weights were all quite right. The next step was finding all the parts and materials I need in order to build wingsurface and mechanical powerexpansion . To be honest, that wasn’t easy, being on a rather tight budget.

Read more here: check the blogpost 

25 September 2011
I said goodbye to my kite. Soon she will become a new wing!
Here’s the blogpost 

20 september 2011
This is the first 3D visualisation of my human birdwings design. It explains the idea and design behind the wings that I will be building coming months for myself.

check the blog (with video)

12 September 2011
I found workspace! Last weekend I received the keys. From now I have a decent, cheap and big room in an old factory building where I can start building my wings!

Take the tour through my workspace


1 September 2011
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. Check the blogpost for more details

23 August 2011
I talked with Bert Otten, professor in Neuromechanics at the Univeristy of Groningen about my concept. It was interesting to hear that some crucial points in my design were not considered impossible by him. This gives me great confidence to continue where I left off!

check the blogpost (with video) and some extra footage of the interview here

17 August 2011

While everybody is enjoying the sun the preparations for the project are in full swing since the start of this summer. I have decided to take the time to give this flying dream a serious try and by now I have buried myself in technical research.

check my blogpost (video) in which I explain why I have started this project
and this blogpost gives you some insight on my sources of inspiration

1 August 2011
My mum has found grandpa’s old sketches!

Check my blogpost on this