How to Design & Build
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About this Site
fly is amazing, but it is not easy to build an ornithopter. You
can improve your chances of success if you start off with a proven
design before beginning your own experiments. In fact, your best
bet is to start off with one of the simple, rubber-band-powered
ornithopters, instead of launching right into a much more complex
design with electric motor and radio control. Although the rubber-powered
models may seem antiquated, the experience of building one will
teach you many important concepts that will help ensure the success
of your future endeavors.
We have provided
some free plans on this web site, which
you can use to build your own ornithopters. These are all proven
designs. However, some of them are too advanced for beginners. The
"Freebird" design is the best one to start with.
There are a
few things you should watch out for. Beware of any tutorials that
supposedly show you how to build an ornithopter from "household
materials". These sub-standard ornithopters will not fly. There
are also several cheaply made ornithopter kits on the market. Some
of these may appear simple, but are actually frustrating to build.
Also, any ornithopter kit that uses a lot of plastic and bamboo
in its construction (instead of balsa wood) is not likely to fly
very well. Those materials are simply too heavy.
After you get
started with the free plans, you can go to the next
page and start learning how to design and build your own ornithopters.