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How Ornithopters Fly

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Ornithopter models EV5 and EV6

1. Ornithopter model EV5

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1.1 Wing design

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2. Ornithopter model EV6

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2.1 Flight photographs of the EV6

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2.2 Video of the EV6 (1983)

Cutaway of a 8 mm film from EV6

The video shows two short flight sequences.

Scene 1

  • a launch to gliding flight on a slope,
  • the change to powered flight with a cardan gear mechanism,
  • the slight bobbing up and down of the fuselage with a flapping cycle of about 0.8 s
  • and after some wing beats the change to gliding flight. Then the flight speed obviously wasn't big enough for a normal gliding flight thereafter. Therefore, it changes to a sinking flight.

Scene 2

  • a start to a gliding flight on a slope again and
  • two transitions between gliding and powered flight
  • The second switch does not happen speedily, most likely due to the indecisiveness of the radio-control pilot.

In both flights the varying acceleration in both wings' working cycles is clearly to be seen at the rhythmically alternating distance between the model and marginal image border.

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640 x 480 mp4 (1.6MB)

480 x 360 mp4 (0.9MB)

320 x 240 mp4 (0.5MB)