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Ran across the Bognor Birdman competition the other day, which got me re-interested in ornithopter flight. I'm thinking a two-stroke design, where you use the legs once to lift the wings against spring pressure (the wings partially collapsing on the way up), then with spring assist, using the legs a second time to drive the wings downwards, might be a workable plan. For long distances, say to England for the event, one might use enough helium-filled weather balloons to reduce eir weight to some manageable amount, say 5 to 10 pounds, but of course such an aid won't be allowed in the competition itself. The £30K prize for the longest flight over 100 meters is quite alluring.

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last updated 2010-07-21 02:43:53. served from tektonic