Man Flies Like A Bird : Human BirdWings Guy Finally Enjoys The Miracle Of Human Flight

Man Flies Like Bird : Human BirdWings Guy Finally Enjoys The Miracle Of Human Flight

While I am indeed guilty of being pretty fly for a white guy, it’s never been able to help me achieve my life-long dream of actual flight. You know, in the air, like a bird. Or maybe like Superman or Captain Planet. Hence my excitement back in December when we caught wind of a mechanical engineer from the Netherlands who was pulling out all the stops to transform this dream into a reality. His name? Mr. Jarno Smeets. At the time, however, his so-called HumanBirdWings project was just in its infancy.

Smeets was busy trying to manage a successful pairing of the accelerometers of a WiiMote and an HTC Wildfire S, which would together allow him to control the outrunners on his giant, self-built wings. Gradually, the engineer honed his mechanical pinions to the point at which, in late January, he actually took flight. Well, when we say “flight,” we really mean that the motion consisted more of two or three extended hops. But, damn you, it was progress.

Today, Jarno took his wings out for a second/tenth try, and, in the process, may just have made semi-self-propelled aeronautical history. We’ll check on that, but as far as hacks go, this one is pretty high up there. Finding just the right concoction of wind velocity, speed of departure, and whispered Hail Marys, Jarno today flew over 100 meters on his self-built wings.

Move over Orville, Wilbur, and Leo da Vinci, there’s a new birdman in town. After 8 months of hard work, research, and testing, this mechanical engineer was able to defy gravity and participate in the miracle of self-propelled, human flight.

His inspiration? Why the majestic albatross, of course. If only Samuel Taylor were here to see this.

For more, check out Jarno’s blog, which provides a glimpse into his work.

But, without further ado, here’s Jarno in flight:

Source 1 | Source 2

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