The Human Powered Wing Flapping Ornithopter Breaks World Record

Early history of the Ornithopter


The idea of constructing wings in order to resemble the flight of birds dates to the ancient Greek legend of Daedalus (Greek demigod engineer) and Icarus (Daedalus’s son). One of the first recorded – still dilettante – attempts with gliders were those by the 11th century monk Eilmer of Malmesbury (recorded in the 12th century) and the 9th century poet Abbas Ibn Firnas (recorded in the 17th century); both experiments ended with lasting injuries to their pilots. Roger Bacon, writing in 1260, was among the first to consider a technological means of flight. In 1485 , Leonardo da Vinci began to study the flight of birds. He grasped that humans are too heavy, and not strong enough, to fly using wings simply attached to the arms. Therefore he proposed a device in which the aviator lies down on a plank and works two large, membranous wings using hand levers, foot pedals, and a system of pulleys.

The first ornithopters capable of flight were constructed in France in the 1870s. Gustave Trouvé’s 1870 model flew a distance of 70 meters in a demonstration for the French Academy of Sciences. The wings were flapped by gunpowder charges activating a bourdon tube. Jobert in 1871 used a rubber band to power a small model bird. Alphonse Penaud, Hureau de Villeneuve, Victor Tatin, and others soon followed with their own designs.

Around 1890, Lawrence Hargrave built several ornithopters powered by steam or compressed air. He introduced the use of small flapping wings providing the thrust for a larger fixed wing. This eliminated the need for gear reduction, thereby simplifying the construction. To achieve a more birdlike appearance, this approach is not generally favored today.

In the 1930s, Erich von Holst carried the rubber band powered bird model to a high state of development and great realism. Also in the 1930s, Alexander Lippisch and other researchers in Germany harnessed the piston internal combustion engine.

Human Powered Ornithopters


Around 1894, Otto Lilienthal became famous in Germany for his widely publicized, partially successful ornithopter experiments. Even though popularly known in English as the Glider King for his earlier gliding experiments, Lilienthal’s new device was in fact an ornithopter with wings powered only by a man’s arm power, as indicated by his invention’s official name of kleiner Schlagflügelapparat (lit. “small flapping-wing device”).

In 1929, a man-powered ornithopter designed by Alexander Lippisch flew a distance of 250 to 300 meters after tow launch. The flight duration was necessarily short due to the limitations of human muscle power. Since a tow launch was used, some have questioned whether the aircraft was capable of sustained flight, however brief. Lippisch asserted that the aircraft was actually flying, not making an extended glide. Later tow-launched flights include Bedford Maule (1942), Emil Hartmann (1959), and Vladimir Toporov (1993). All faced similar limitations due to the reliance on human muscle power.

In 1942, Adalbert Schmid flew a motorized, manned ornithopter at Munich-Laim. It was driven by small flapping wings mounted at the sides of the fuselage, behind a larger fixed wing. Fitted with a 3 hp Sachs motorcycle engine, it made flights up to 15 minutes in duration. Schmid later constructed a 10 hp ornithopter based on the Grunau-Baby IIa sailplane, which was flown in 1947. The second aircraft had flapping outer wing panels.

In 2005, Yves Rousseau was given the Paul Tissandier Diploma, awarded by the FAI for contributions to the field of aviation. Rousseau attempted his first human-muscle-powered flight with flapping wings in 1995. On 20 April 2006, at his 212th attempt, he succeeded in flying a distance of 64 metres, observed by officials of the Aero Club de France. Unfortunately, on his 213th flight attempt, a gust of wind led to a wing breaking up, causing the pilot to be gravely injured and rendered paraplegic.

A team at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, headed by Professor James DeLaurier, worked for several years on an engine-powered, piloted ornithopter. In July 2006, at the Bombardier Airfield at Downsview Park in Toronto, Professor DeLaurier’s machine, the UTIAS Ornithopter No.1 made a jet-assisted takeoff and 14-second flight. According to DeLaurier,[4] the jet was necessary for sustained flight, but the flapping wings did most of the work.

Snowbird Is The Latest Attempt


On August 2, 2010, Todd Reichert, an Engineering PhD candidate at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, piloted ‘Snowbird’, surpassed the record set by Ornithopter No.1. Initially towed by a car until lift was achieved, Snowbird sustained 19.3 seconds of flight, covering a distance of 145 meters. Developed by Reichert, Cameron Robertson, James DeLaurier and assistance from students from the University of Toronto and other institutions, Snowbird will become the record holder for the longest sustained flight by a human-powered ornithopter pending …


How did the present QWERTY standard keyboard come into existance ?

Most of us take the keyboard in front of you for granted. Have you ever wondered why the keys are arranged in what seems like a illogical pattern?


QWERTY is the most used modern-day keyboard layout on English-language computer and typewriter keyboards. It takes its name from the first six characters seen in the far left of the keyboard’s top row of letters. The QWERTY design is based on a layout designed by C. Latham Sholes in 1874 for the Sholes and Glidden typewriter.

QWERTY key arrangement first appeared in typewriters. It was designed to minimize typebar clashes, became popular with the success of the Remington No. 2 of 1878, and remains in use on electronic keyboards due to the network effect of a standard layout and the failure of alternatives to provide very significant advantages.


The QWERTY keyboard, so named for the first six characters of the uppermost alphabetic row, was invented during the course of the typewriter’s development. The first model constructed by Sholes used a piano-like keyboard with two rows of characters arranged alphabetically as follows:

3 5 7 9 N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
2 4 6 8 . A B C D E F G H I J K L M

The mechanics of the machine, however, made this arrangement problematic. The typebars were attached to the circumference of a metal ring, forming a “basket”. When a key was pressed, the corresponding typebar would swing upwards, causing the print head to strike at the center of the ring. Gravity would then return the typebar to its initial position. The implication of this design, however, was that pressing adjoining keys in quick succession would cause their typebars to collide and jam the machine. To mitigate this problem, keys were reordered using analysis of letter frequency and trial and error. Typebars corresponding to letters in commonly occurring alphabetical pairs, such as S and T, were placed on opposite sides on the disk. The keyboard ultimately presented to Remington was arranged as follows:

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 – ,
Q W E . T Y I U O P
A X & C V B N ? ; R…


Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha, Similarities and Differences


Buddha and Christ, the two personalities that have rerouted the course of human history; Both were born in the Asian continent, both destined to instill light and love to this world. One influenced the eastern hemisphere and the other the western hemisphere of earth. The simple human mind sees only the differences in their teachings without realizing that they were dealing with entirely different religious belief and cultural settings. This post is not meant to find the similarities but only plan to compare these two personalities on several aspects. Some aspects of them seems similar and others totally different. But in a bigger picture their purpose was the same; to instill love and light to this world.


Several years back as I was reading the story of Buddha. As I came across the part where Buddha attained enlighten. I saw striking similarity between this and the story of the ‘temptation of Christ’. That was one incident that sparked interest in me to know more about my own religion; Christianity. This post will compare and contrast the two most influential personalities in the known human history; Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha.

Lived During

Buddha Christ
563 BCE to 483 BCE (approximate) 1 AD/CE – 33 AD/CE (approximate)

Prophesies About

Buddha Christ
As seers and spiritual masters of the land came to pay homage to the new born prince, the hermit seer Asita announced that the child would either become a great king (chakravartin) or a great holy man. Kaundinya the youngest, and later to be the first arahant other than the Buddha, was reputed to be the only one who unequivocally predicted that Siddhartha would become a Buddha (The enlightened one). Jewish prophets prophesied the birth of Messiah, the king of the Jews, who will liberate them from their enemies.

Bible talks about 3 wise men from the east who came to pay homage to Jesus. They refer to Jesus as the King of the Jews. Jesus must have been between 1 and 2 years old then as King Herod after carefully inquiring about the child to the 3 wise men ordered his soldiers to kill all children under 2 years of age in Bethlehem.

Buddha during his last hours tells his disciple Annanta that neither is he the first Buddha on earth nor will he be the last. In due time another supremely enlightened Buddha will arise. He will be known as Metteyya, which means ‘he whose name is kindness’.


Buddha Christ
Father: King Suddhodana
Mother: Queen Maha Maya
NB: They did not have children for twenty years into their marriage.
Father: Joseph (Carpenter)
Mother : Mary

NB: Mary became pregnant while she was engaged to Joseph. Jesus birth is believed by Christians to be a virgin birth. In Greek  ’a virgin’, also implies “a young woman in her mid to late teens.” The Gospel of James give a totally different account. Marry is said to be a temple girl given to Joseph for safe keeping at the age of 12. Read Early Life of Virgin Mary Till The Birth of Jesus Christ for more information


Buddha Christ
One full moon night, sleeping in the palace, the queen had a vivid dream. She felt herself being carried away by four devas (spirits) to Lake Anotatta in the Himalayas. After bathing her in the lake, the devas clothed her in heavenly cloths, anointed her with perfumes, and bedecked her with divine flowers. Soon after a white elephant, holding a white lotus flower in its trunk, appeared and went round her three times, entering her womb through her right side. Finally the elephant disappeared and the queen awoke, knowing she had been delivered an important message, as the elephant is a symbol of greatness in Nepal. The next day, early in the morning, the queen told the king about the dream. The king was puzzled and sent for some wise men to discover the meaning of the dream.
The wise men said, “Your Majesty, you are very lucky. The devas have chosen our queen as the mother of the Purest-One and the child will become a very great being.” The king and queen were very happy when they heard this.
The angel appeared to Mary and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jammanuel (god is with us). He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of

The Most Loved Disciple of Jesus

When you read the title of this post you must have already been preoccupied with some names of disciples whom you think is the closest to Jesus. You must most likely be expecting Simon Peter and John to be the ones. Peter is a candidate because Jesus called him “The Rock” on which he would build his Church [Mat 16:18]. Peter was the one to give the right answer “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” for the question “Who do you say I am?” by Jesus [Mat 16:16].  In the last part of the gospel of John Jesus asks Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” and Jesus puts him in charge of his disciples. The claim for John is his own gospel where in the last chapter it identifies the disciple that Jesus loved the most as the author of the gospel [John 21:20-24].

Gospel of John is interesting in many respects. First of all unlike the other gospels it starts with unusual idea; an idea that is philosophical. Second, it plays hide and seek with the identity of Jesus most loved disciple instead of explicitly naming him. Third, John alone had omitted what could be called the pillar of Christianity and Eucharistic celebration; the blessing of the bread and wine by Jesus at the last supper.

Before we go any further we must understand the fight between the good and the bad are going on at all levels. The dark side is very quick to extinguish any trace of light that had been lit on this planet. What are the tools of darkness to fight light? They falsify the past, corrupt the scriptures to twist the facts, eliminate true sources of knowledge, wipe-out the cultures and civilizations that are the guardians of light by portraying them as heretic. The light gets around it by being one step ahead. It doesn’t directly engage in conflict with the dark but however finds ways to present and preserve its essence despite all the destruction. Gospel of John is a good example of such an effort. Despite the gospel reveling the truth to its seekers, managed to find its way into the holy bible by hidden the truth from plain sight. Not only that many gospels couldn’t find its way into the holy bible but many more were destroyed as they were considered heretic.

Often when a society is immature to accept a new idea it need to be introduced in a acceptable form however without loosing its essence. Much the same way when a child refuses to take the medicine the mother have to mix it with the milk and feed it to the child. The teachings of the religious teachers are only meant to guide mankind from one point in time to another with an ultimate goal of liberating us from our delusions. Their teachings were best formatted to the time and situation they were in. Its our duty to continue the search and go beyond what the teachers of humanity had taught us.

According to the Gospel

Now lets get back to our search on the real identity of the most loved disciple of Jesus. The gospel of John alone mentions the term ‘the most loved disciple’. The gospel starts mentioning this phrase at the last supper where Jesus predicts his betrayal. According to the accounts from the gospel:

[21] After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.” [22] His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. [23] One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. [24] Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.” [25] Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” – John 13:21-25 (NIV)

[23] Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. [24] Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. [25] He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? – John 13:23-25 (KJV)

Its quiet unusual for a man to lye on another man’s chest, let-alone for a disciple to lye on his teachers chest. Here I am not jumping to any conclusion so lets continue looking at other places in Gospel where it mentions more about the loved disciple of Jesus.

At Crucifixion

[25] Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. [26] When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said


The Day The Earth Will Reset Itself

The movie ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ was an inspiring movie for me. The movie looks like a science fiction movie but with less graphics and no horrifying align characters. For some the movie is not so mush impressive because of the lack of advanced CG. But I think the makes of the movie have concentrated in conveying the message to the audience.

The message is crystal clear. “Destroy and be destroyed or save and be saved”. Its time for us to slow down the destruction of earth and eventually reverse it. Lets not be remembered as a species or race that had destroyed an entire planet and all of its rich bio diverse species. We humans are only intelligent enough to develope a parasite-host relation with earth. Lets develop a symbiotic relation with our mother planet. The first step to this process is to control the human population and bring it down to a billion or below.


The earth is approximately 6 times more populated than it was initially designed for. Its resources have been depleting at an alarming rate as a result of over consumption. Lets be responsible. Lets look at earth as a living being which needs out respect so as to sustain all the life forms on it. Remember that we are just sharing it with the trillions of life forms on this planet. Lets look upon other species with care and concern. There is nothing much that we have to do to protect them, but only one thing that me must not do, destroy them. The mother earth is capable of protecting and sustain its children.

We see ourselves as specially privileged to kill and destroy. We consider ourselves the supreme creation of god and the earth the territory granted to us for exercising our greed. Religion is what obstructs our spiritual development. It detaches us from the reality and prevents us from realizing truth.

The reason why we ignore to acknowledge the destruction of earth and take its responsibility is our feeling of safety. We feel that earth will take it all. Its human nature not to change until the last moment. But it could be too late to change at the time we are threatened by destruction. Its time for us to evolve into a wise species. Lets not be suicidal just by ignoring or pretending not to see the warnings.

Let each of us take small steps that we can make to save the earth or at least post pond the day and time for the reset of the planet. Avoid asking for bags when shopping if not necessary. Reuse plastic bottles by refilling them rather than buying it every day. If you can drink without straw, don’t take it. If you receive something for free that you don’t need, don’t take it. Lets do the simple things that we can do to save the earth and the human species which is engaged in self destruction.

Please give your comments and suggestions on how to save earth. Lets share our views.…