Gallery: First Continuous Flight of a Human-Powered Ornithopter!


A University of Toronto student has succeeded where Leonardo Da Vinci had failed, completing the first continuous flight of the human-powered aircraft known as an ornithopter. Todd Reichert , a PhD student at the U of T Institute for Aerospace Studies at the University of Toronto, succeeded in piloting the aircraft, which flies by flapping its wings like a bird. The concept was conceived back in 1485 by legendary inventor Leonardo Da Vinci who sketched flying machines but never actually made one.

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  1. deenie December 14, 2010 at 5:47 am

    I was looking for a gain of altitude after the pulling cable was released but it seemed to level off and quickly go into a downward slope. Perhaps a couple more months of exercise on the leg press machine coupled with a muscle building diet and supplements like whey and creatine, would make for a slight increase in altitude.

  2. Techstuf September 24, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    The potential is obvious, yet based on what was shown, I have to side with Z-man. Sustained HPO altitude is clearly still in question….and the talk of donation to a museum seem premature given what was shown.

    Donate the craft AFTER is has clearly displayed the capability of sustained human powered flight.


  3. Z-man September 23, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    I’m skeptical. It doesn’t seem to gain altitude. Just a very long distance glider after it is pulled aloft by a vehicle which also provides the energy to keep gliding forward for a very long distance.

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