ABOUT ORNITHOPTERS
 
 Introduction
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 Free Plans
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Ornithopter Free Plans

Beware 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 a model kit, instead of the online plans. As your ornithopter skills progress, you can return to this page for new ideas as you start to develop your own designs.

First Step: Build a Model Kit before you start building from plans. An ornithopter model kit has special components that make it easier to build. That will improve your chances of success as you learn the new skills required to build your own ornithopters.

Freebird by Nathan Chronister
The Freebird plans were developed to help people get started in the hobby of building their own ornithopters. That was before an easy-to-build kit was available. Now, the simple design is a great bridge from the model kit, with its specialized components, to building your own ornithopter just from the materials available at your local hobby shop.

Spencer 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.

Libelle 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)

Flapper Facts Plans
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.

Vintage Plans
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.