Vol. 08: Project: Building an Ornithopter

Can humans fly by flapping? Build a small, rubber band-powered ornithopter whose motion is similar to a bird in flight.

+ Downloads & Extras:


You can find the full-sized templates here.


This tiny flying insect, designed by Nathan Chronister, is the world's smallest 3D ornithopter. It has a 15 cm wingspan (less than 6 inches) and weighs only 3.5 grams, yet it can climb vertically, loop, roll, fly inverted or backwards, and hover. All this is made possible by a tiny 3-channel RC system from Plantraco! The four-wing system was based on a rubber-powered ornithopter plan Nathan created for the Fall 1994 issue of his Flapping Wings newsletter. (For more info about flapping wing models or the newsletter, visit Nathan's web site, .)

+ Video of the Ornithopter from Make 08!

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