Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 28 October, 2021

Flying like a bird: man soars after building his own wings


INSPIRED BY LEONARDO DaVinci and his grandfather, a mechanical engineer from the Netherlands has spent the past six months trying to build wings that will allow him to fly.

On Sunday, he strapped on his self-built wings for a test run in a park in The Hague. The 100 metre flight lasted about one minute, after which Jarno Smeets landed safely.

Smeets’s arms work as guides but the kite and carbon windsurf mast fabric is actually controlled with Wii controllers and an electronic mechanism made up of the accelerometers from a HTC Wildfire S smartphone and Turnigy motors. In a statement, the 31-year-old said he modelled his wings on the movement and structure of real bird wings.

The veracity of the video cannot be confirmed as yet but, even so, it does offer us a nice break from those promissory notes, the imminent Mahon Report and the ever-controversial Household Charge.

More information on Smeets big dream can be found on his blog HumanBirdWings.net and his Twitter account @jarnosmeets80.

Read his full statement (with all the mad engineering jargon) here>

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