Onwards and upwards

Some remarkable recent achievements in aeronautics

Just happened that a few items crossed my inbox more or less in the same time-frame that made me reflect on the ingenuity and persistence of inventors and explorers.

Here’s the first item that I came across in The Register.

Canadian enthusiasts have finally achieved a feat that has eluded humanity’s finest engineers since the time of Leonardo da Vinci – to build a machine, powered by a human pilot’s muscles, which flies by flapping its wings: an ornithopter.

Here it is on YouTube.

Read the rest of the report here.

Then Klaus Ohlmann is recorded on the FAI website as submitting a world record claim for flying a solar powered glider a total of 375.7 km (233.4 miles) around three turning points.  Oh, and not forgetting a claim by Jan BÈM and Olga ZALUSKÁ  from the Czech Republic for a world record altitude by a weight-shift microlight – 8,188 metres no less (26,864 feet!) – or the claim by Richard Young of the USA for a world record of flying an aircraft between 300 to 500 kg around a closed circuit of 100 km at a speed of 390 km/h (242 mph).  What is it with these guys – have they not got proper jobs to go to? 😉

Anyway, here’s Klaus on a nice video.

Finally, my dear friend of many years, Dan Gomez, reminded me in a recent email of this very brave pushing back of the boundaries.

More from here.

Swiss pilot Yves Rossy

By Paul Handover

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