of online tutorials that make an "ornithopter" from household
materials. They do not work. All plans on this web site are proven
designs, and they will fly if built correctly.
These free plans allow you to build your own DIY ornithopter, from
materials you can buy at your local hobby shop. They also provide
an in-depth look at the history of how ornithopters have been made
over the years. If you have never built an ornithopter before, I
highly recommend starting with the Freebird design, which was designed
specifically for beginners. As your ornithopter skills progress,
you can return to this page for new ideas as you start to develop
your own designs.
by Nathan Chronister
The Freebird plans were developed to help people get started in
the hobby of building their own ornithopters. The original version
was introduced in 1993, and I have kept updating the design to make
it even easier to build.
by Nathan Chronister
A sequel to the Freebird, this four-winged design introduced a simple
scissor-wing mechanism that formed the basis for many "micro
air vehicle" type ornithopters. The four-winged design produces
a unique, slow flying style.
Orniplane by Percival H. Spencer
Flown in 1961, the Spencer Orniplane was the first radio-controlled
ornithopter. The plans were provided by Jack Stephenson, who assisted
Spencer in developing the Orniplane. They recorded some videos of
the Orniplane in flight. You can see them in the videos section
of this web site.
by Alexander Lippisch
Construction plan for a large, rubber-powered ornithopter from the
designer of the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet. The design is outwardly
similar to some of the engine-powered ornithopters he developed
during the same period. (Schwingenflugmodell des NSFK, 1938)
A large collection of plans from the ornithopter newsletter Flapper
Facts. You will see a variety of designs that reflect the different
approaches of their respective designers. These are mostly indoor
contest models. Also a few electric ornithopters, and some
older versions of the Freebird.
Four different designs from the "golden age" of ornithopter
modelling. Aside from their historical interest, these are some
really cool designs that would be worth building today if you have
enough skill to rekindle the lost art.