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(ôr`nəthŏp'tər): see flightflight,
sustained, self-powered motion through the air, as accomplished by an animal, aircraft, or rocket. Animal Flight

Adaptation for flight is highly developed in birds and insects. The bat is the only mammal that accomplishes true flight.
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a heavier-than-air craft with flapping wings. A flapping motion of wings is used in flight by various living beings, such as birds.

Studies show that the ratio of a bird’s weight to the power of its muscles is about the same as in humans—(1,350 ± 675) newtons per kilowatt, or (100 ± 50) kilograms-force per horsepower—but the considerable additional weight of the ornithopter structure itself makes takeoff in this type of aircraft virtually impossible for humans. However, if a muscle-powered ornithopter is first accelerated or is launched from an elevated position, it can take off and fly a distance of 1–2 km. Experimental flights in the simplest type of ornithopter (called an orthopter) were made as early as the early 20th century (in 1921 by the Soviet aircraft designer B. I. Cheranovskii and in 1929 by the German aircraft designer H. Krause). The design and construction of ornithopters equipped with an engine and with a complex transmission for the flapping wings are of interest mainly from the viewpoint of developing a theory of the dynamics of a flapping wing.


Tikhonravov, M. K. Polet ptits i mashiny s mashushchimi kryl’iami, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1949.
Alexander, R. Biomekhanika. Moscow, 1970. (Translated from English.)
Shestakova, G. S. Stroenie kryl’ev i mekhanika poleta ptits. Moscow, 1971.



An aircraft that derives its lift by the flapping of wings or oscillating about any axis but not by rotating.
References in periodicals archive ?
However it was Ibn Firnas' attempts at flying that pioneered the world of aviation and at the same time giving birth to the concept of ornithopter which is the key component in maintaining flight stability during landing.
Da Vinci supposedly designed the wings of the ornithopter after studying bird wings, and the design brings together the complex articulation of bird-wing bones - in this case the bones of a bat - with an ingenious human-powered mechanism that employs such innovations as a lengthening lead screw, according to Spence.
Bleriot recounted the evolution of flying machines in Europe and his own experiments with flight, abandoning ornithopters and helicopters to settle on aeroplanes.
This achievement is the direct result of Todd Reichert's dedication, perseverance, and ability and adds to the already considerable legacy of Jim DeLaurier, UTIAS's great ornithopter pioneer.
spied a business opportunity: They invented their own ornithopter kit--based on a design by a 19th century French inventor--and launched the online Ornithopter Technologies.
Based on an ornithopter design, the FlyTech[TM] Dragonfly flaps its wings like a real insect.
Washington, May 20 (ANI): A group of Japanese researchers has succeeded in building a fully functional replica model - an ornithopter - of a swallowtail butterfly, and they have filmed it flying.
ornithopter - a heavier-than-air airplane deriving its chief support and propulsion from flapping wings
To advance and complete the game, players will solve a plethora of puzzles by interacting with tools and machines, unraveling diabolic inventions, and operating strange vehicles including an ornithopter (mechanical bird).
Other topics include curvature analysis of conjugate surfaces via a tensor approach, dynamic analysis of an extendible support structure, determining optimal sizes for a ball-valve micropump channel, development of flapping ornithopters by precision injection molding, and a multi-dimensional model and version control method for small-batch production.
Kristin Goehl, who received an honorable mention, received two awards at the international fair for her study of ornithopters (planes with flapping wings), including a
Bio-inspired drone ornithopters not only fly, but also crawl and 'perch-and-stare' to minimise battery use.