Monday, September 27, 2010

Pterosaur Ornithopters

You may have heard of University of Toronto PhD candidate Todd Reichart's successful flight of his human-piloted ornithopter, the Snowbird (video here). Radio-controlled ornithopter construction has a long history among engineering hobbyists, and luckily for us, many of these folks have turned their attention to the first vertebrates to evolve the ability of flight, the pterosaurs. Kazuhiko Kahuta has uploaded a number of test runs of his Mesozoically inspired ornithopters to YouTube. Here are a few choice cuts.

Sordes


Tapejara


This Pteranodon has a particularly nice flight.


Wouldn't it be funny if there was a cryptozoologist on the other side of those trees, babbling excitedly while taking video with his phone?

4 comments:

  1. Those are awesome! I think it would be interesting if they made models based on David Peters' ideas to see how they fly.

    P.S. You beat me to the cryptozoologist comment.

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  2. "Wouldn't it be funny if there was a cryptozoologist on the other side of those trees, babbling excitedly while taking video with his phone?"

    You know, I thought about that when I watched his models of the creatures form "Avatar". Then I remembered how remarkably oblivious most people are to the birds flying around them. <:/

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  3. Amazing! There's a Microraptor, too.

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  4. They're pretty neat. Reminds me of the flapping, rubber-band driven Rhamphorhynchus model fashioned by Erich von Holst in the 1950s. Apparently, his model could fly too, though I'm not sure how well.

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