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Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 8:31 AM

Man can fly with wings like a bird...

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#1

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 10:03 AM

The question here is it real, or is this fake? What say you?

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#2

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 10:32 AM

Just taking a cursory look at this but I'd say plausible right now but just as plausible to fake this. The text with the article does point out that this is not strictly human powered because an electric motor does assist wing motion. Regardless of it being real or faked, the premise is very creative. Thanks for bring this up SE.

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#10
In reply to #2

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 5:01 PM

I've now had some more time today to look this over and I'm at the same opinion. The critical thing that makes me say this is plausible is that the wing area is comparable to a hang glider. So on the right day with the right wind there should be enough lift without any propulsion to get this contraption aloft. So these guys may not be faking anything and just got lucky on this day. What makes me skeptical though is that despite the wing area being comparable to a hang glider, it is considerably smaller than the Gossamer Condor.

So even though they were lucky enough to get enough wind a few times to get aloft to assemble a video, I don't think that this is a viable craft. If my memory is correct, wing flapping is much less efficient than a propeller to gain thrust in air, too. I'm also very apprehensive of all of the flexing parts.

So I still say that this is plausible, but most likely this is faked. Besides, any good engineering fakery should look plausible in the first place.

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#3

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 11:32 AM

on just a human physiology aspect. Man does not have the bone or muscle make up to fly like that.........if it was rigid.....glide maybe.

So I will state, No!

Unless you consider gliding, flying. the maybe!

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 1:59 PM
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#4

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 1:10 PM

I vote for fake, or at least woefully inadequate description.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 1:14 PM

does flying down count?

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 1:38 PM
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#9
In reply to #6

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 4:57 PM

Bait-and-switch.

The OP image and wording made it seem as though human-powered (desperately unlikely); the article then said electrically powered.

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#8

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 3:46 PM

I agree with phoenix911, physiologically, no way.

On the humor value of the image, my first thought was - Hhmmmm....Batman in boxers

He seems to be flailing his legs, body is postured as if trying to land on the rapidly approaching ground with his feet rather than a full frontal body/equipment splat.

Can almost hear him in this frame at the point of realization..................Aw Cr%p

If nothing else, it is a poor to fair attempt at CGI (computer generated imagery).

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#16
In reply to #8

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 4:15 AM

More of a hop and a glide and in no way human powered.

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#11

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 5:05 PM

I'd need to see more camera angles and clearer views of the thing in flight to be convinced.

I'm not saying it's fake, cause modern technology is doing some mind blowing things these days.

Just being my usual skeptical self.

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#12

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 6:58 PM

It might be possible, but when the batteries fail, oh s***.

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#13

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 8:34 PM

The tire tracks for a tow vehicle can be seen in the grass. A high speed winch and thin wire work for Hollywood all the time.

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#14

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/21/2012 11:48 PM

Cool! Here is another method of flying or more accurate gliding. The latest extreme sport but I will remain a curious spectator, thanks. I wonder if I was 25 would I try it? I did like high diving at that age, no wings just a water landing.

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#15

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 12:34 AM

Flying with birds wings have never been a problem, it is quite easy in fact.

Surviving the that landing on the other hand, now thats the trick bit.

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#17

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 7:42 AM

Interesting to say the least! There's no actual "connection" between his arms and the wings because it's all done with motion sensors to control the movement of the machine parts. No physiology problems here...he's just "wearing" the machine on his back and causing the wing motion by flapping his arms. He could probably (and may have in test) made the whole thing work without flapping his arms by just have a cam on the motors to cause the wings to flap. I think it's a neat idea!

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#18

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 8:56 AM

Three words that means it's a fake PITCH, YAW and ROLL.

These are the three primary axes of control on any flying machine (including birds) and his machine has no way of controlling any of these.

In aircraft they use elevators to control pitch, rudder to control yaw and ailerons to control roll, hang gliders use a change in the centre of gravity while birds use tail feathers to control pitch and yaw and wingtip feathers to control roll.

Without some way of controlling in all three of these axes the most likely outcome is an uncontrollable spin shortly after becoming airborne.

Now before somebody says that he could control it like an hang glider just look closely at what his body is doing, it's swinging all over the place which means the centre of gravity would also be moving all over the place and that's definitely not conducive for controlled flight no matter what method of control you are using.

In other words:

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#21
In reply to #18

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 1:19 PM

Not sure I can support your assertion about no pitch, etc. control.

I believe that with proper sophisticated control inputs the individual elevator, etc. functions can be duplicated by the device.

I'm still not convinced that the thing is real, but I'd not brand it a fake for the reasons you cite.

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 1:44 PM

you mean like this;

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 3:05 PM

Or this:

Quadrocopter Ball Juggling, ETH Zurich - YouTube

Ok, it's not fixed wing, but it's cool none-the-less. Watch it.

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 3:44 PM

have to wait till I get home to watch it, but.........they say that for a military fighters, a certain amount of instability helps in the performance........heck if they want DARPA funding, they should mount one of these to it.......

And while their at it throw on one of these :

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 4:45 PM

One of my first jobs at Motorola was working on the AIM-9 Sidewinder (heat seeker)and Navy Standard Missiles.

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#29
In reply to #26

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/23/2012 8:17 AM

Interesting tidbit, I believe the Soviets got the pattern for a heat seeking missle, from one of ours being shot up the tail pipe of a MIG back in the Korean War that didn't explode. And that was the Sidewinder. They should have used a banana.

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#28
In reply to #23

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/23/2012 5:22 AM

The B-2 is different to most aircraft in that it has no tail and that makes it extremely unstable and impossible for a human to fly. If the flight computers screw up (as happened once due to water ingress) then the only actions the pilots can take is to reach for the yellow and black handle and pull like there's no tomorrow which there won't be if you don't.

Anyway, it still uses the same three axes of control but achieves this with split ailerons where the upper and lower surface of the ailerons can move independently. Roll is controlled as usual by differential use of the ailerons, pitch is controlled by moving both ailerons in the same direction and yaw is controlled by splitting the aileron on the side you wish to yaw towards.

This thing hasn't got anything like that nor a flight control computer so the only method of control that is apparent is the movement of the centre of gravity which I discussed in my previous post.

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/23/2012 8:22 AM

No but it has an android. (They can call for an ambulance)

Interesting about the flying wing.

Guess who Edwards Air Force Base was named after and what plane he was flying at the time.

The difference between then and now is more powerful engineers engines and most importantly, fly by wire and its computers.

I am glad that Jack Northrup saw his dream for-fulled.

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#32
In reply to #30

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/24/2012 8:08 AM
  • "I am glad that Jack Northrup saw his dream for-fulled."

The B-2 wasn't finished and Jack Northrop looked like he was on his last legs so the designers pushed for him to get special clearance to see it before he died. It was granted and he wasn't told why or what he was going to be shown. Apparently when he did see the B-2 he reputedly said "Now I know why God has kept me alive so long" or words to that effect.

I'm glad that he did see his baby come to fruition before his death. Unfortunately his aeronautical designs were too far ahead of the avionics and electronics of the time and that's one of the reasons the original flying wing never made it into full production and use.

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/24/2012 9:01 AM

Yes it was actually a model that they initially showed Jack.

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#34
In reply to #30

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/24/2012 10:00 AM

I heard the test pilot claimed it somersaulted in mid air on him...they didn't believe him (because he brought it back in one piece). Eventually they did and corrected the computer controls.

It is an awesome aircraft, one of my favorite...right next to the SR71!

Drew K

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#36
In reply to #34

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/25/2012 7:34 AM

"It is an awesome aircraft, one of my favorite...right next to the SR71!"

You, you ……… harrumph, comparing an admitted fake as silvCrow showed in his link in post #27 to one of the most iconic aircraft of all time is, is, is ........ well it's just plane sacrilege.

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/25/2012 8:58 AM

I think that you, masu, are confusing the intended pronoun reference. DrewK was replying to Phoenix911. Phoenix911 was talking about the B2, not the fake that started this thread. So I suspect that DrewK intended the B2 as the plane he admired.

The sloppy use of pronouns causes just as much and maybe more confusion than the use of undefined acronyms. It is almost a CRIMINAL act.

I still love that acronym post. Bravo to you for posting it to CR4.

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/25/2012 9:54 AM

If he was referring to the B-2 then I apologize profusely!

I've actually got 1/48 scale model of most things that came from the Skunk Works and even though the B-2 isn't one of their aircraft I would still like to build a model of it to go with the rest of the sneaky aircraft collection. However, to date I have been unable to find and appropriately scaled and detailed kit so it's on the back burner for the time being.

The current project is a pair of SR-71s (a standard one and the trainer version) in NASA livery. The standard one will be a refurbishment of an existing model in clean configuration while the trainer version will be with everything open that can open.

PS: I actually managed to get hold of a copy of the pilots manual for the SR-71. It's very interesting reading and show just how advanced the aircraft was for its time.

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/25/2012 10:06 AM

I always thought is was so cool that the B-52 main gear could be steered to allow crabing during landing and takeoff.

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/25/2012 11:00 AM

Landing gliders with their long slender wings in a cross wind is truly an art form that takes one hell of a lot to get right enough to be safe let alone master. Trying to land a B-52 with is droopy wings in a cross wind without having the ability to crab the thing on the runway would make it absolutely impossible to land.

There are two techniques to landing in a cross wind:

  • Crab & Straighten: This involves keeping the wings level all the way down but with the nose offset into the wind. The aircraft is actually flying straight into the air but its ground track makes it look like its crabbing through the sky. Then at the last moment you have to kick on just the right boot full of rudder to straighten up the aircraft just before it touches the ground.
  • Side Slip Approach: This technique involves crossing the controls and flying the aircraft sideways through the air while keeping the inter wind wing slightly lower that the other. From the ground the aircraft appears to be flying straight and in line with the runway at all times so you don't have to correct at the last moment. There are several disadvantages with this technique:
    • Your stall speed is increased as part of the downwind wing doesn't have air flowing over it
    • The inter wind wing is dipped and runs the risk of striking the wingtip on the ground.
    • The air speed indicator will not display the correct airspeed so you have to make a bit of a guess as to what your airspeed is by judging the aircraft's angle of attack.

Anyway, with the B-52 neither of these techniques is feasible due to the aircrafts size, mass and phenomenal wing span so the designers had no option but to come up with some technique that allowed the aircraft to crab down the runway during the ground run.

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#41
In reply to #39

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/25/2012 11:26 AM

That was unbelievable, we they landed in a cross wind, the pilot was actually had to look side ways to see parallel with the run way.

Also, Boeing came up with the proposal for the B52 as well as the model over the weekend to be submitted on Monday.

Unbelievable what can be done when your back is against a rock and a hard place

The B52, It's not your fathers Oldsmobile. But your grandfathers. ;)

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#42
In reply to #38

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/25/2012 12:44 PM

Sorry for the confusion! I was referring to the B-2, I had a chance for a real up-close look at one when it visited Barksdale AFB for an air show in the late 90's. Watching the B-52 fly overhead and land in various wind conditions is pretty awesome too.

It was a documentary I saw where the test pilot was talking about putting the B-2 through maneuvers and something he did caused it to somersault once or twice before recovering, that would have made an awesome film if it were recorded.

I always thought the B-52 looked like a cat with wings because of the landing gear. It is interesting to watch them taxi in with one or both wings a few meters off the ground then after refueling both wings are firmly resting on the wingtip wheels.

Drew K

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#44
In reply to #42

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/26/2012 12:38 AM

Some time back they looked at replacing the engines on the B-52 with more powerful and efficient engines but for some reason the program got canned. In the 60 years since the B-52 first flew engine technology has changed dramatically. The B-52 has 8 engines that each produce 76 kN of thrust giving it a total of 608 kN of thrust. Compare that with the 777 which has two engines that each produce 514 kN of thrust giving it a total of 1,028 kN of thrust with about half the fuel consumption of the B-52. Two engines almost 70% more thrust and close to half the fuel consumption would have been a phenomenal improvement. Only problem is that I don't think that the engines off a 777 would fit under the wings of a B-52 without dragging on the ground.

Mind you, the B-52 is about as indestructible an airframe as you can get, which is borne out by the photograph below of one with its vertical stabilizer torn off in severe turbulence. The aircraft did land safely.

The only aircraft that I know of that landed with more damage than this is the Israeli F-15 which after a mid-air collision landed minus the starboard wing. Not kidding guys these photos are NOT FAKED.

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/26/2012 1:08 AM

I think somebody posted the story of that Fighter jet here on another thread. At first Boeing didn't believe it was a mid air incident, they thought it must have happened on the ground and were being told a tale. They said it flew because the pilot used enough thrust and had an angle of attack high enough that the fuselage and underbody acted as a lifting surface.

Did you hear about the B-52 that lost 2 engines? I had the story first hand from some ground crew who where there when she came back and landed minus the two inbord port engines. They said it had an engine swap, did ground tests before takeoff; she was cleared for flight but shortly after the engine disintegrated destroying the mounts and fell off. Not long later the second engine fell off. One reportedly went through the roof of a church and the second landed in a field. She flew around burning fuel and getting checked out by a fighter jet that flew close by before going back to Barksdale for an emergency landing.

I also heard the same thing about upgrading the engines and was told the problem was where they would be located on the wings. The turbo-fan engines on the C-5 and KC135 have a much larger diameter and wouldn't fit well. I think there were other complications to do with mounting and positioning them. The engines they have now are an upgrade from the old water injected models first developed. The wingtip fuel tanks used to be for demineralized water for the engines, now they are smaller and just hold fuel.

Drew K

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#47
In reply to #45

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/26/2012 2:36 AM

"Did you hear about the B-52 that lost 2 engines?"

Actually the engine mounts on pod mounted engines like those on the B-52, B-707, B-737, B-747, B-757, B-767, B-777 et cetera are designed to so that the engine should fall off in the event of a catastrophic failure. The way the mounting pins are set up is that should the engine fail then the rear two pins will shear off while the forward pin remains intact to start with. The engine then rotates round the forward pin till it's pointing backward and is above the wing at which time the forward pin fails and the engine hurtles backwards away from the aircraft.

They have to do this because a turbine failure can result in such an imbalance in an engine that it could easily rip the airframe apart and result in the wing being torn off the aircraft. It's far better to have an engine rip off than loose a wing.

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#48
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Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/26/2012 9:26 AM

I hadn't heard that, but it makes sense. There was damage all over that side of the aircraft, when the engine blew up it threw metal into the wing and body. It is one tough aircraft.

Drew K

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/27/2012 3:01 AM

I don't know if you remember it but back on 4th November 2010 the Qantas A-380 registration VH‑OQA suffered an uncontained engine failure when the intermediate turbine of the number 2 engine disintegrated shortly after take-off.

At the time the news were lead to believe that it was just a simple engine failure, however, the damage to the aircraft was extensive. The turbine disk broke into three pieces one flew downwards, one upwards severing control cables and tearing a bloody great hole in the port wing while the other went flying off horizontally towards the aircraft damaging all sorts of things on the way. They lost engine 2 completely, control over engines 1 & 4, one complete hydraulic system, the leading edge slats on the port wing, the ability to use reverse thrust on landing, the fuel distribution and dumping system, ruptured fuel tanks, and some 50 plus other less serious failures.

This photo show the engine instruments after the loss of the number 2 engine, on the centre display at the top note the position of and RED warning message above the indicators for the 1, 2 & 4 engines and compare that with the number 3 engine. That means that the only engine that they had full control over and that was operating correctly was the number 3 engine.

Here's a photo of the hole in the port wing.

Here's a photo of some of the internal damage to one of the control wiring looms that led to the multiple systems failures.

Not being able to extend the leading edge slats meant a faster than normal landing with more fuel than they would have liked because they couldn't dump or move the fuel around. They also had no reverse thrust because only the inboard engines have thrust reversers and using reverse thrust on one side without having control of the outboard engines could have been catastrophic. They also couldn't throttle down the number 1 engine which had reverted to default cruise mode due to the severed control wiring. That meant a fast landing with a heavy aircraft using only the wheel brakes. Initially the flight computer couldn't calculate the landing distance required due to the number of failures but they eventually manage to get it to cough up a landing distance which revealed that they could land it but with only a few hundred feet of runway to spare.

The landing burst several of the tyres on the 4 main landing gear assemblies and one assembly caught fire as shown by the foam the fire engines sprayed on it in the image below.

Then when the aircraft came to rest they couldn't shut down the number one engine due to the severed control wiring and even firing fire hoses into the inlet wouldn't bring the misbehaving engine to a halt. Ultimately it stopped but only after about a further 4 hours when it ran out of fuel.

Investigation revealed that the whole incident was caused by the off centre of the internal bore in a connector on the high/intermediate speed turbine lubricating system.

This led to fatigue cracks and an oil leak that started a fire that ultimately caused the failure of the intermediate speed turbine disk as shown below.

Currently the aircraft is still in a hangar on the ground in Singapore as they are still trying to work out how to repair it. It is hoped that it will return to service late 2012, but there is still a chance that the aircraft will be written of due to the difficulty of repairing the composite structure of the wing.

Anyway this is a classic example of the sort of damage an uncontained turbine failure can cause and it was all due to the miss machining of a part that probably cost no more than a couple of hundred dollars.

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/27/2012 7:25 AM

wow...

I realize this post is not very relevant to this thread but worthy of a GA anyway (or at least a vote toward on topic). Besides, this tread was based on a hoax anyway.

Drew K

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#51
In reply to #50

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/27/2012 8:57 AM

It may not be relevant, but it sure added interest to otherwise medicre op.....apologizes to the op. and a ga also.

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#53
In reply to #51

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/28/2012 12:12 AM

Thanks folks, if I manage to dig up any further info on the incident or they get the bird flying again I'll write the whole incident up in detail and post it in the aviation blog.

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#52
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Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/27/2012 9:18 AM

Already voted.

Very interesting.

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#46
In reply to #44

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/26/2012 1:20 AM

On that F15, I think you could give credit for the F15 powerful engines, I think it had more thrust that weight of the plane. But I'm only a novice.

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#22
In reply to #18

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 1:27 PM

I concur.

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#19

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 9:31 AM

Redbull!

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#20

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 1:04 PM

"Is it Ella or Memorex?" Yes, we all wonder. But I suddenly got caught up in the non-translated comments of the "bird." I thought sure I caught a couple of "f" words that sounded very much like their English equivalent. That makes me think this guy was truly excited. So I'd vote that it was not faked. I think the guy was just as amazed as anyone that he actually pulled it off for the time he did. And was he out of breath!

Even if this were possible it would strike me just like taking off to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a canoe or bass boat. I just don't think I'd trust my ability to flap properly given the fickle air currents above our heads that we aren't aware of on the ground.

Nice find, though!

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#27

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/22/2012 6:20 PM
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#31
In reply to #27

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/23/2012 12:56 PM

... looking for that 15 minutes of fame, I guess.

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#35
In reply to #27

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/25/2012 7:30 AM

See my next post #36.

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#43
In reply to #27

Re: Leonardo was Right!

03/25/2012 8:58 PM

LOL, how many 250lb birds are there flying around.?...0...Interesting concept though, and makes me think this may one day be possible....but, not today...

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