I'm embarking on an ornithopter project.
This is an initial test of a neat wing warp mechanism. Warring for time in my head are two types of flyers, VTOL like a hummingbird, or more of a soaring type. We'll see how it shakes out.
Coming next is an expanded demonstrator of the wing warp method, which is very cool, if I do say so. The more I think on it, the deeper it goes, which is what I live for. It's all about the process, man. Sometimes I've just got to put some things together to see if my mind's eye is calibrated or not!
I've been mentally designing wings for myself since I was a teen. My career has been all about light and powerful actuators and power transmissions, and deployable and dynamic structures for space. That being the main hurdle for something like this, it's time again to start thinking about all that goes with the power source, and eventually make myself a flying ornithopter.
Much has been done over the centuries, not much of it elegant or particularly practical. Human power has worked, but certainly not practical. Powered man carrying ornithopters have worked, but not very elegant or compelling. There's very nice work being done making bird and insect like spy drones, which is far easier than a man carrier, to be sure.
What got me back into this was Jarno Smeets recent hoax video of "human birdwings". In a way, I was glad it is a hoax, as my first reaction was "Damn, someone beat me to it!" Not really reasonable, because I didn't work on it seriously in the first place. My next reaction was "I know how to do this, so why wouldn't I?" And I feel that now the race is truly on, since I am certainly not the only one inspired by this. I think I've got the method of getting power to the wings in an elegant and failsafe way. Making RC models as a first step will be fun!