Flying like a bird

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I did it! This weekend I brought out my wings again for a second test. And here it is. Do I need to say more? Just watch the video

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Human Birdwings on WIRED

 These days I have been mainly focused with fixing details of the wings. So, you might have missed my regular updates? A digital friend actually wrote me wether I am still doing ok? I can tell you that I am!

First, thanks to all who have sent me very useful technical advise & help! It helped me refocus on what needed to be done after the first testflight.  Continue reading

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What’s next?

I got a lot of comments on the last video in which you can see my first test of the wings. The response was massive, not just on my YouTube channel but also on a lot of other blogs. (check Engadget, TechCrunch, Discovery Channel)

Some people really loved it and support what I am doing. But of course there was also a lot of criticism. Some were pessimistic and blatantly negative, but most were useful! Either way a very fruitful discussion. 

For me this project is all about my dream, the seamingly impossible and pushing the limits of human capabilities and technical applications. I am happy that still a lot of people are willing to share this dream with me.

You should read this post on techblog Next Nature. They caputered my point perfectly. 

“Arguably, the most desirable technologies are the ones that that take the human condition as a cornerstone. They resonate with our human senses, feel natural, empower people and that realize the dreams people have of themselves. For lack of a better word we call them ‘humane technologies’. Now here is an example what might be the most humane technology since the invention of the bicycle. Dutch mechanical-engineer Jarno Smeets dreams of flying like bird. “

 

Anyway.

As soon as the weather is good I will continue testing or perhaps, flying.

 

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First test with wings!

The wings did their job! The stakes were high for me, so I was disappointed that I only made a tiny hop in the air. But it worked!

While I was getting bored with the bad weather, I tried the wings in the factory floor below my workplace earlier. And that tiny pre-test proved that I could go outdoors to try the real thing. Although the weather this week didn’t look good at all! Yesterday in the afternoon the sun returned for just a couple of hours. So I prepared the wings with my crew a.s.a.p. and jumped in the van to the testinglocation.

Here it is guys. Enjoy!

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Working on the wings

So what are these wings all about, you might think?

In the latest videos you have seen me working on flightpins and the wingsurface for which I have sacrificed my Slingshot Fuel 17m2 kite for the membrane wingsurface. 

vleugeltekening

This  fabric weighs about 70 grams per square meter, so in total that will be around 1050 grams. It’s quite a challenge to work with this fabric. It’s strong, but at the same time very fragile. Especially because of the forces it has to cope with during the flights, it’s important to Continue reading

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Aerodynamic ribs & wingsurface

To keep you updated, here are my latest videos on the construction of the wing. Half december things have been progressing steadily. Floor did a nice job filming that, so here the result.

In the first video you see how I had the aerdynamic ribs cut at a technical workplace. The ribs give the wing its shape. We have succesfully attached them to the flightpins. The second video gives you a nice look at the completions of the wing. The work is not quite done yet, the mechanics of the wing needs to be calibrated, balanced and finetuned.

But isn’t it just great the wings have come off the drawing table and now hang in my workplace? I am tired but so excited!

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