Bourcart ornithopter design, 1866

Bourcart ornithopter design, 1866

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bourcart ornithopter design. 19th-century design for a type of human-powered flying machine known as an ornithopter. The wings are operated manually by the aviator, using his arms and legs. The designer is named as Jean-Jacques Bourcart, and is dated August 1866. The design is titled, 'Velocipede aerien' (aerial velocipede). Machines that fly by wing flapping are known as ornithopters. However, humans are too heavy in relation to the power they can generate for such designs to work.

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