Ornithopters In Fact And Fiction
An ornithopter (a flapping wing aircraft) under development at the University of Toronto's Institute for Aerospace Studies may yet make Leonardo da Vinci's dream a reality. The renaissance genius designed an aircraft that would achieve both lift and thrust with its flapping wings over 500 years ago. Many have tried to make it work; none have succeeded.
(From Toronto Ornithopter)
Professor James DeLaurier leads a group of scientists and engineers in creating a full-scale aircraft (not merely a model) that is a true engine-powered piloted ornithopter. The ornithopter will have its first flight in a few weeks at the Downsview airport in Toronto.
An Italian group is hoping to create a second craft and fly it at the 2006 Olympic games in February of 2006 in honor of Da Vinci.
Science fiction fans have long been familiar with the ornithopter concept; it plays an exciting role in Frank Herbert's Dune books - see dune ornithopter for a complete article. Herbert's concept is still a little in advance of reality:
He broke off as the Duke kicked on the jet brakes. The ship bucked as its tail pods whispered to silence. Stub wings elongated, cupped the air. The craft became a full 'thopter as the Duke banked it, holding the wings to a gentle beat, pointing with his left hand off to the east beyond the factory crawler.
Fans may also be familiar with the abbreviated term 'thopter from the novel.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/2/2004)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 8 )
Related News Stories -
Google Lobbies For Autonomous Motorcycles
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems.'- Bruce Sterling, 1988.
Cruise Automation's 'Highway Autopilot' For $10K
'It cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car...'- Robert Heinlein, 1941
myCopter Personal Aerial Vehicle (PAV)
Not quite as freewheeling as the sfnal version, but it might work.
Spam Autonomous Cars And Philip K. Dick
'The news vending machine, being homotropic, headed toward them...'- Philip K. Dick, 1963.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
New Video Of Arducorder Mini Open Source Science Tricorder
Perfect for exploring our planet.
E-Delicious Machine A Food-Tasting Robot
'Why the nuisance of bringing food to the mouth to taste?'
Nexus 6 Phone Vs. Nexus-6 Android Comparison
It has 'ten million possible combinations of cerebral activity'. Now, that would be a smart phone.
Robot Handwriting Via App Better Than Yours
Don't get caught with fake handwriting.
MIT's Latest Biosuit For Fashionable Astronauts
'You'd need a space suit to make any kind of a successful trip outdoors.'
Diamond Nanothreads For Space Elevators?
'Continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal.'
3D Printing With Moon Regolith Simulant (Moon Dust)
Don't forget, it costs about 5k dollars to lift one pound up from Earth.
Liquid Metal Technology Now Exists
'A mimetic poly-alloy.'
Sense.ly Virtual Nurse Will See You Soon
The virtual nurse is IN.
China's Crab Walker Robot Tank In Firing Mode
'The mechanism was to consist of eighteen segments, each equiped with a pair of legs...'
'Hello, Computer!' Intel's Core M Catches Up To Scotty
'Well, isn't that quaint!'
Visual Speech Recognition - When Will HAL Read Lips For Real?
Automating lip reading.
MIT's Robotic Cheetah Runs Free - And Frolics In The Grass
'THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail...'
Flying Robot Has An Arm
Drones with arms.
Strati 3D Printed Car
'You rode in it - you know how good it is.'
Tracking Spinning Space Junk
'Loose nuts and bolts... had been accumulating in Earth orbit'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories