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Old Apr 27, 2004, 05:24 PM
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PARIS
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"Ornithopters are the Next Big Challenge"

http://uanews.org/cgi-bin/WebObjects...ArticleID=9041

Regards
RK
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 11:41 PM
Registered User
Apopka, Florida, USA
Joined Nov 2002
343 Posts
Robert and others,

I went to your link and found this topic interesting. I will have to look into this competition because my new Tiki-Bird is smaller and more advanced than anything mentioned in the article and it flies fast and penetrates high winds. I also have to ask the question....is the academic world operating in a vacuum? Have they done no research on what's already been done in the realm of ornithopters? Or, do they simply ignore the state of the art to prevent serious competition?

Sean Kinkade
HobbyTechnik
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 02:23 AM
Enginerd
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San Luis Obispo, CA
Joined Mar 2004
122 Posts
Academic Vacuum

>Have they done no research on what's already been done in the realm of >ornithopters? Or, do they simply ignore the state of the art to prevent >serious competition?

Having attended the competition and being involved in the MAV club, many of the competitors are holdovers from last year, when there was no ornithopter event. Therefore they have specalized in building the smallest prop plane capable of the missions. Ornithopters are new to many of the competitors.

Had you entered your "tiki-bird" I'm sure you would have done very well as there were unexpectadly high winds. In fact there was a model entered that looked very similar to the larger "park-hawk" types in both form and mechanical function; which I speculate is very similar to your model. HOWEVER, empahsis was placed on small size, and unless your model is under 9" largest dimension there were at least two other models there that would have most likely knocked you out of first place. Despite being less "advanced".(Weather permitting).

Furthermore, I believe the acedemic world (at least the two universitites I have and am attending) are not "in a vacuum", but very few have programs in micro air vehicle technology or courses in unsteady aerodynamics as pertaining to flapping wing flight. Funding is not sufficient to allow experimentation and development in these areas. And students dont have all day to sit around and design, build, and test models.

Granted, I can see how you may wonder this as existing successful ornithopters are in commercial production. Why not extrapolate on proven technology? Personally, I built mine as an original model, to explore a design not previously tried in attempt to build the smallest capable of the mission. No one likes a copycat.

I would encourage you to participate in next years competition and share your ideas and designs with the schools. Perhaps sponsor a school or two.

Stan Beebe
Student
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 09:40 AM
Sebastian Zettl
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Karlsruhe, Germany
Joined Mar 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beebe
Furthermore, I believe the acedemic world (at least the two universitites I have and am attending) are not "in a vacuum"...
@beebe: do you think Assistant Professor Sergey Shkarayev really said what he was quoted with?

"One hundred years after the Wright Brothers, we still don't have ornithopters that fly reliably. There is not much understanding of how they work. We know how to fly space shuttles and NASA's X-43, Mach 7 aircraft, but we still don't have a good understanding of how to make planes that fly like birds."
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 12:05 PM
Sticky Shepherd
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Oxford/England
Joined May 2001
4,017 Posts
I certainly think it is the article at fault rather than the science.

We can make ornithopters that fly but there are huge areas that we don't understand. Trimming them is normally a voyage of discovery rather than an excersise in science although the scientific method of experimentation is helpful if not essential. I refer though to micro sized ornithopters mainly.

The Tiki-Bird would not seem to be a MAV as the motor would weigh more than the average micro electric machine. I would also be interest to hear of it's advanced nature.

Graham
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 01:15 PM
Registered User
Gainesville, Fla
Joined Aug 2002
125 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Kinkade
Robert and others,

I went to your link and found this topic interesting. I will have to look into this competition because my new Tiki-Bird is smaller and more advanced than anything mentioned in the article and it flies fast and penetrates high winds. I also have to ask the question....is the academic world operating in a vacuum? Have they done no research on what's already been done in the realm of ornithopters? Or, do they simply ignore the state of the art to prevent serious competition?

Sean Kinkade
HobbyTechnik
You're welcomed to enter but only educational institutions can win at the end of the day. There was alot of learning done this year and many competitors only spent a few months on their entries because of the focus on the MAVs don't be surprised if next year there are alot more <9"

The emphasis of the competition is on learning and inovation if we simply copied what has already been done it would have cheapened it. Also to say that a speed 300 motor weighs more than just a few of the ornithopters that were flown there was a large emphasis on making them very lightweight.
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 04:35 PM
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Rochdale, England
Joined Sep 2003
46 Posts
A note to all the Ornithopter Academics:
“Go cast your intellectual nets into the thought ocean, and catch yourself a mind fish”.

A note to Sean Kinkade:
“Every time I fly my black Slow Parrot, the local crows come out and fly with it, less than one foot away, ‘See the Bird, Be the Bird’, awesome design”

A note to micro developers:
“Look to the Bumble Bee, when you get to that level of instability, the extraordinary forces of nature take over and make thins work”.
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 05:03 PM
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Apopka, Florida, USA
Joined Nov 2002
343 Posts
Stan, thanks for the informative comments.

Graham, I'll be doing a press release on the Tiki-Bird soon but what makes it "advanced" in the context of that article is the fact that it has a bird like tail for starters ( it was mentioned in the article that the tails on most models were still like planes) and the fact that it is very high powered for its size and will fly in substantial winds, even right into a fierce headwind. I can't estimate what mph headwind exactly but Jeff Goodman of JGRC witnessed one clear example of what the Tiki-Bird can do at a fly-in near Cocoa Beach, FL. several months ago. The wind practically had th airplane flyers grounded yet I still flew the Tiki-Bird.

Regarding the MAV competition, I'd have to learn the specifics of the proposed "mission" that the MAV's in the competition are supposedly aiming to accomplish. Few live insects can fly in high winds, so focusing on small, light ornithopters seems pointless to me. They will be as limited as small light insects are already when the wind kicks up unless they are fashioned like a swift or other small bird with high wing loading.
The Tiki-Bird as it is today could probably perform some type of military operation with it's speed. It's not impervious to wind, but it can certainly fly in it. But of course no aircraft can penetrate a headwind that's higher than its flying speed. I'd say the Tiki-Bird can reach at least 30 MPH in a shallow dive. I could be way off. It may reach only 20 MPH. It's hard to say.

Sean
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 11:40 PM
What Canary?
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Huntsville, AL USA
Joined Jul 2000
1,725 Posts
Sean,

Has the Tiki Bird been modified any from the one you flew at NEAT last year?
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Old Apr 29, 2004, 07:39 AM
Nathan Chronister
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Joined Jun 2003
626 Posts
I just wrote to prof. Sergey Shkarayev, svs@email.arizona.edu, who seems to be overseeing this research. I also filled out the online form to give feedback on the article discussed above:

http://uanews.org/cgi-bin/WebObjects...ArticleID=9041

Whatever the beliefs of the students involved in these MAV projects, this article is full of misinformation about the state of ornithopter research. I ask that you all join me in protest so University of Arizona knows this mistake has been made, and please contact any other organization that publishes similar misinformation in the future. Unless we tell them otherwise, they will assume there is no one out there who knows better. Here is what I wrote:

Dear Dr. Shkarayev,

I am writing in regard to an article titled "Ornithopters are the next big challenge" by Ed Stiles posted on the UA News web site April 15, 2004. This article was poorly researched. It ignores most of what is known about flapping wing flight. In fact, there already are successful commercially available and reliable ornithopters on the market. These students are merely retracing the steps of others and much more is known about ornithopters than the article suggests. See www.ornithopter.org for more info.

Nathan Chronister
The Ornithopter Zone
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Old Apr 29, 2004, 09:28 AM
Registered User
Quebec Intl, Canada
Joined Apr 2004
50 Posts
Hi,
recently in a video on ornithopters i saw two researchers in an U.S university showing how inefficient the ornithopters are ,to show this they took one small rubber powered ornithopter (that is sold as a toy) and attached a heavy key to it and released it, the ornithopter dived to the ground.
They said this illustrates how inefficient the the ornithopters are . They want to make ornithopter that can carry extra weight apart from its power plant and motor but as far as i have seen in the internet that rc Ornithopters can already carry extra weight apart from its power plant ,motor. As many here know lot about ornithopters can somebody tell me if i am wrong.
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Old Apr 29, 2004, 09:37 AM
Sebastian Zettl
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Karlsruhe, Germany
Joined Mar 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Java
... two researchers in an U.S university showing how inefficient the ornithopters are ...
Nice try to get some funding ...
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Old Apr 29, 2004, 02:46 PM
Master of Flapping Flight
Hiperion's Avatar
Tucson AZ, USA
Joined Apr 2004
42 Posts
Hello everyone.
I'm Bill Silin from The UofA and I built orni which won that competition. Do not worry about us, there is no vacuum around. It was only first time. During years all teams demonstare dramatical progress in size decreasing. So, next time, I think, winner will have less than 8" size.
My orni has 9.5" max size and 33gr weight and I already built 5.5" 7gr orni.
What about Tiki bird? Is this less than 10 gr orni???
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Old Apr 29, 2004, 02:55 PM
Registered User
Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hung Hom
Joined May 1999
115 Posts
Sean,

You many not be able to enter the competition, but ERAU can! Maybe we can work something out. We could even put the Tiki bird in the windtunnel. I would definitely like to teach a thing or two to these ornithopter newbies!

-Sean Frawley
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Old Apr 29, 2004, 03:08 PM
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Apopka, Florida, USA
Joined Nov 2002
343 Posts
Hyperion,

No, the Tiki-Bird is totally new concept. It is not a small ultralight ornithopter. Instead, it is a "condensed" ornithopter, that is, a scaled down model using the same power plant and radio gear as my larger birds. It is still large in comparison to most micro-ornithopters with a 24 inch wingspan and a weight of not 10 grams but 10 ounces! It is an outdoor model capable of flying fast in relatively high winds.

I'm not just a designer, but also in business to sell ornithopters so most of my product development is based around components that are affordable. The Tiki-Bird still uses 2 HS-55 servos, a GWS micro receiver, etc. not the real expensive super micro stuff.

Just curious, how much money did you invest in your model that won the contest?

Sean
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