for building your own radio controlled ornithopter.
#1: The most consistently successful wing design for ornithopters
is the membrane wing. Use a straight spar at the leading edge of
the wing. Battens are often used to support the wing surface, and
they should radiate outward from the front, inside corner of the
#2: Wings should be made of a non-stretchy fabric or plastic
film. Icarex coated polyester is the best fabric for ornithopter
wings. For even lighter weight, a polyester (mylar) film can be
used. Don't use nylon kite fabrics or stretchy plastic films.
#3: Getting ornithopters to steer properly is tricky. Using
a rudder and elevator like you see on airplanes will give you good
results. If you want the tail to look more like a bird tail, that
might be less effective. Check out the video
of our bird-tailed ornithopter. Instead of relying on the bird tail
as the main steering, we used a system for adjusting the tension
on the left and right wings.
with airplanes, if you are using a rudder to steer, you need dihedral
in the wings. This can be adjusted on the BirdKit ornithopter gearbox.