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View Full Version : Is Wired for real with this one?



Scriitor
2012-Mar-21, 11:41 AM
I can't figure their motivation behind this article (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/03/human-bird-wings/) out. My first reaction was that it seems a bit early for an April Fools Day joke.

I can't be the only one skeptical.

Strange
2012-Mar-21, 11:52 AM
I think the fact that they talk about the difficulty of making the wings so light and then skip over the 2kW motors and power supply says it all...

grapes
2012-Mar-21, 12:47 PM
Website: http://humanbirdwings.net/

NEOWatcher
2012-Mar-21, 01:51 PM
I just flew back from the Hague and, boy, are my arms tired. http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/verschiedene/d050.gif (http://www.cosgan.de/smilie.php)


I can't be the only one skeptical.
I too am skeptical, but do have an inkling that it could be true. Now that he's done it, he should set up a press demonstration.

I think the fact that they talk about the difficulty of making the wings so light and then skip over the 2kW motors and power supply says it all...
It's the news. People understand fragile fabrics, they don't understand motors and power supplies.

djellison
2012-Mar-21, 02:02 PM
The video just looks wrong. The onboard footage looks EXACTLY like it was taken from a quadrocopter. Their motors are not stepper motors, so how does is it keeping track between his arms and the struts. There is almost no gearing between the motors and the struts - and brushless motors (especially Turnigy, a fairly cheap brand) have a habbit of stuttering or stalling when doing slow motions like that.

Other people have picked up on a few CGI bugs within it - like this - http://imgur.com/PlEI7 and this http://awaitinginspiration.com/2012/03/human-bird-wings/

He has videos going back to August 5th that link to his website - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cocLpRzZnvk&list=UU7W2f5n5vYfM7TYVir3iPGw&index=15&feature=plcp and blog entries going back to July....

And yet the website was only registered on August 10th - http://who.is/whois/humanbirdwings.net/


Note how he's always mentioning the specific make and model of Smartphone? I call viral marketing campaign. HTC, probably.

John Mendenhall
2012-Mar-21, 03:21 PM
He says 'kite' twice in the link in the first post above. Also notice that there are a lot of people at the far end of the field. I suspect he has built a kite controlled by a carried human. Very beautiful in its design, but Lilienthal et al. did this in the 1890's. Also very dangerous.

ravens_cry
2012-Mar-21, 03:36 PM
Human carrying kites are very, very old, in fact the oldest means of flight out there I believe.
They are older than balloons, I think, and are certainly the oldest aerodyne.

grapes
2012-Mar-21, 05:38 PM
For all the technical criticism, I think the part that stood out for me was the interview with the flyer after the flight(?). I didn't understand the language, but it seemed forced.

Strange
2012-Mar-21, 06:06 PM
For all the technical criticism, I think the part that stood out for me was the interview with the flyer after the flight(?). I didn't understand the language, but it seemed forced.

Why does that remind me of a certain ex-member's "real astronauts wouldn't behave like that" argument? :)

djellison
2012-Mar-21, 08:24 PM
The guy really really looks like an actor in all of his videos. It looks and feels like a script.

grapes
2012-Mar-22, 10:31 AM
Why does that remind me of a certain ex-member's "real astronauts wouldn't behave like that" argument? :)Yes! :)

As they used to say back in the day, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

noncryptic
2012-Mar-22, 11:33 PM
I find it interesting that there are so many people (not so much here but in the comments on Wired and elsewhere) who seem to think that in absence of hard evidence, extraordinary claims should be given the benefit of the doubt.

"Oh, you disbelieve based on what? Intuition? Your own engineering calculations?"

(Not based on engineering calculations but based on intuition. Then again you do believe it's real, based NOT on your own engineering calculations.)

astromark
2012-Mar-23, 01:02 AM
I can not speak for others as to their conviction to a principal or not.. What we are seeing and what is or not, true..

Count me as Sceptical.. As a glider, or a kite.. Yes. Why would it not work., but for a controlled powered flight NO.

I am not just sounding a unqualified opinion..

In the late 1970's when I first moved to NZ I was interested in ultra light air craft. I did some flight training in a Bantam..

Others I associated with were hang gliding and a level of powered hang gliders were around.. Wire braced wings..

Now this thing we are being asked to believe is a flapping powered flight..

I do not think the strength of materials and mechanicals are up to this...

My twelve hours of flight time might not make me a qualified opinion..

but on a fine day when the wind is very light.. a kite could.. and maybe thats all this is.

To convince me of powered controlled flight I would want to see it climb to altitude. 1000 feet.,

and return to ground in a controlled manner... when they do that.. its more than nothing. " .♪♪ ♫ ♪ ♪♪ ♫ ♪. " Dixie...

Trebuchet
2012-Mar-23, 01:43 AM
It doesn't look remotely stable to me. I'm a former aerospace engineer, not an aerodynamicist but I worked with lots of them. I can maybe see it as a kite.

Nowhere Man
2012-Mar-23, 02:32 AM
Update 1:06pm PDT: A Dutch artist named Floris Kaayk has admitted that “Human Birdwings” was an elaborate hoax 8 months in the making.
Likewise from Snopes. (http://www.snopes.com/photos/technology/humanbirdwings.asp)

Fred

John Mendenhall
2012-Mar-23, 02:40 AM
Likewise from Snopes. (http://www.snopes.com/photos/technology/humanbirdwings.asp)

Fred

Now - next question is, it's a pretty good fake. Anybody know how he did it?

Love it, John M.

grapes
2012-Mar-23, 08:51 AM
I'd put it right up there with the movie 2012 :)

djellison
2012-Mar-23, 04:12 PM
I knew it. Glad to have by skepticism vindicated.

noncryptic
2012-Mar-23, 04:53 PM
Now - next question is, it's a pretty good fake. Anybody know how he did it?

Love it, John M.

The guy behind it is a filmmaker. The hoax was an experiment in media.
Hollywood-quality special effects can nowadays be done at home with a PC.

ravens_cry
2012-Mar-23, 07:25 PM
There is this (http://www.boreme.com/posting.php?id=23035), a human powered blimp that is uses wings rather than a propeller. Rather less efficient, but much more real than a hoax.

Trebuchet
2012-Mar-24, 02:34 AM
There is this (http://www.boreme.com/posting.php?id=23035), a human powered blimp that is uses wings rather than a propeller. Rather less efficient, but much more real than a hoax.

Why did they keep referring to the female pilot with male pronouns? It's kind of cool, but not as effective as pedals driving a prop. Human legs are much stronger than arms.

noncryptic
2012-Mar-24, 02:50 AM
There is this (http://www.boreme.com/posting.php?id=23035), a human powered blimp that is uses wings rather than a propeller. Rather less efficient, but much more real than a hoax.


It was a few decades ago so maybe not everyone is familiar with these:

Flight of the Gossamer Condor (1977)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp7yv67B5Sc

Gossamer Albatross (1979)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gossamer_Albatross

MIT Daedalus (1988)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_Daedalus


(back then, we could)

ravens_cry
2012-Mar-24, 04:53 AM
I am indeed aware of those, and I am also aware of propeller driven human propelled blimps. The reason I posted the link I did is because this was an ornithopter of sorts, like the hoax was alleged to be.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-24, 07:56 AM
Why did they keep referring to the female pilot with male pronouns? It's kind of cool, but not as effective as pedals driving a prop. Human legs are much stronger than arms.
I saw the pilot as a young male until you brought up the other possibility.

Apart from the haircut there's not much in the video to distinguish by.

Trebuchet
2012-Mar-24, 02:37 PM
True, and I might have gotten it wrong.

Solfe
2012-Mar-24, 06:58 PM
What made me doubt that it was a real flight was the sanity of actually flying by arm power alone. If he had shown something more modest like long low leaps across several dozen meters he would have fooled me.

I really wanted to believe that there was no CGI in this video. I was hoping he was pulled by a car or something.

publiusr
2012-Mar-24, 07:00 PM
For a human to fly--he'd have to be pretty much all chest and arms, so one would think.

Trebuchet
2012-Mar-24, 07:12 PM
What made me doubt that it was a real flight was the sanity of actually flying by arm power alone. If he had shown something more modest like long low leaps across several dozen meters he would have fooled me.

They weren't actually claiming arm power alone. The idea was that they had motion sensors, motors, and batteries to amplify they arm motions.

noncryptic
2012-Mar-24, 07:14 PM
What made me doubt that it was a real flight was the sanity of actually flying by arm power alone.

He covered that by using two 2KW electro motors.
Granted that based on wing beat frequency and amplitude it does not look like powered flight. It looks like feeble flapping that gets him nowhere.

Hornblower
2012-Mar-24, 09:23 PM
I am guessing that the flapping wings were analogous to the fake stern wheel on a dinner boat I rode on the Mississippi River in Memphis a few years ago. There were no connecting rods, and the hubs were not big enough to contain any gears capable of turning the wheel hard enough for the necessary propulsion. I think the wheel was along for the ride in the backwash from screw propellers.

The distance and viewing angle at liftoff could have concealed a towline. In the subsequent closeup view from the side he could have been gliding.

noncryptic
2012-Mar-24, 10:21 PM
The distance and viewing angle at liftoff could have concealed a towline.

Alternatively a towline could have been edited out in post production, but to me the takeoff just looked to 'magical'. One moment he was flapping the wings and going nowhere, the next moment he was airborn.
Aside from that, the combination of surface, beat frequency and -amplitude of the wings, and the foreward speed of the whole thing, just didn't look to me as though it could lift the mass of a human.

As far as cinematic special effects go, i suppose it's good enough if it fools some people some of the time.

I doubt that he could even run fast enough while carrying that contraption to create an apreciable amount of lift - which would have been necessary even if they'd have used a towline. A towline pulling fast enough for takeoff would probabaly just have pulled him off his feet and dragged him along the ground.

LotusExcelle
2012-Apr-07, 10:15 PM
As a note this has been revealed to be a hoax.