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Flapping Flight Software

FlapDesign and FlapRate are simple, free software programs that run within your web browser. These programs require a Java plug-in (free download). You must also go to the Control Panel, go to Java, click on the Security tab, and add www.ornithopter.org to the "exception site list". Developed by Nathan Chronister.


FlapDesign helps you design ornithopter mechanisms. You type in the basic dimensions of the mechanism, and it shows you the resulting wing motion in the form of an animation or graph. Simply adjust the dimensions until you have the desired range of wing motion. FlapDesign also helps you spot trouble such as asymmetric flapping or potential locking up of the mechanism. You can also manipulate three different example mechanisms to see how they work. FlapDesign is an indispensible tool that makes it much easier to design your own ornithopters!

Run FlapDesign
How to use FlapDesign


FlapRate teaches you to judge the wing flapping rate of an ornithopter or a real bird. Train your eyes and ears with animations that have a known flapping rate. Then, quiz yourself and hone your abilities. This new skill might be useful in ornithological research, and it's definitely helpful if you're working with ornithopters. You need to know the flapping rate to make sure your motor is running at the correct speed.

Run FlapRate
How to use FlapRate