8 HUMAN POWERED AIRCRAFT & Pedal Powered Flying Machines
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8 HUMAN POWERED AIRCRAFT & Pedal Powered Flying Machines

August 9, 2019


– [Narrator] Human powered flight is about as green as it gets. Add that to dreams of reaching the heavens and you get the top eight
human powered aircraft. Number eight, the Snowbird. We as humans have spent
centuries trying to fly before finally developing
the technologies needed to soar with the birds. And in this time there
was a plethora of gadgets, devices and machines that have been both failures and successes. The Snowbird is the first
human powered ornithopter, an aircraft that flies
by flapping its wings, to fly continuously. The development team was
comprised of students and faculty from the University of Toronto in Canada, Poitiers University in France, and Delft Technical
Institute in the Netherlands. Weighing just 94 pounds
the Snowbird has a wingspan of 105 feet which is comparable
to that of a Boeing 737. Its structure comes apart in four pieces and is made of carbon fiber tubes, foam, balsa wood and base wood. It took its maiden flight at
the Great Lakes Gliding Club in Tottenham, north of Toronto, Canada. It maintained both altitude
and airspeed for 19.3 seconds, covering a distance of 475 feet at an average speed of
15.9 miles per hour. Although this aircraft is not a practical method of transport it can act as an inspiration to others to use the strength of their body and the creativity of their
mind to follow their dreams and think twice about what’s possible. Number seven, the Aerosail. Adventurer and visionary. Both of these can be attributed to Frenchman Stephane Rousson, the designer and pilot of
this entry on our list. Surprisingly his inspiration
and love of aviation came from having watched
the movie E.T. as a child. This motorless zeppelin,
connected to a hydrofoil and filled with helium
gas, is 52 foot long with a diameter of 16 feet. It is designed to glide
100 feet in the air with the pilot suspended underneath in a semi reclining position, steering it with two tilting
rotors on either side, and powering the two
propellers with his feet using a bicycle-like contraption. Rousson has attempted multiple times to cross the English
Channel in the Aerosail, but as of yet has not succeeded. In 2014 he attempted to
cross the Mediterranean Sea but it too was thwarted by the weather. Regardless, we consider this
one to be a prime example of pure adventure and innovation. Number six, the Daedalus 88. Named after the mythological
inventor of aviation and father of legendary ill-fated Icarus, the Daedalus aircraft were
the culmination of work on human flight at MIT. Dreamed up in 1985 by MIT
faculty and student engineers, the Daedalus 88 featured
a technical design that required aeronautical
and design skills above and beyond the ordinary. It was constructed with a
framework of carbon fiber tubes, airfoil shaped for the
wing and tail elements, was maintained with a thin
polystyrene foam leading edge, polystyrene ribs, and
a Kevlar trailing edge. Wing skin was Mylar plastic of
approximately .3mm thickness. The bottom portion of the fuselage and majority of the pilot’s seat were made of Kevlar as well. In total it still only weighed 69 pounds. The Daedalus 88 holds the
official FAI world records for total distance, straight line distance and duration for human powered aircraft set during a 71.5 mile flight lasting just short of four hours. Unfortunately the craft
crashed during the landing. Although the pilot was not hurt the plane itself was
broken into several pieces. The decision was made to not continue the Daedalus aircraft
line leaving us to wonder what could have been
achieved with another one. Number five, the Dash PA. Let me start off this one by pointing out that the name is an acronym for dead simple human powered airplane. The idea behind the Dash
was just as straightforward. To take as efficient an
approach as possible to building a human powered airplane
that flies successfully. It started as a for
fun, after hours project by aviation enthusiast Alec Proudfoot that has blossomed into an effort involving hundreds of volunteers
and over 12,000 hours. The original design goals
called for a weight of 80 pounds and a wingspan of 109.3 feet. It was estimated that it would
fly at 14 miles per hour. Like any design there are
modifications made during testing but at the core of it all
the aircraft is essentially a super light recumbent
bicycle with wings. The project’s first flight
was in December 2015 at Half Moon Bay Airport in California. The aircraft flew for 764 feet while being piloted by Proudfoot. Although it never got
higher than five feet off of the ground it was still
considered a major success. On one of the last flights the aircraft was damaged extensively. It was rebuilt and flown again but like any project of this magnitude it remains a daunting task. Number four, the Ruppert Archeopteryx. The word archeopteryx
literally means first wing, so it was only fitting
that it was named after the feathered dinosaur that
evolved into modern day birds. The aircraft is a Swiss
high wing pod and boom single seat microlift glider. It was conceived as a foot
launchable microlift sail plane, with goals of a light empty
weight, low stall speed, good maneuverability and
good high speed performance. The controls are conventional
with a stick for ailerons and elevator and rudder pedals. The aircraft uses flaps
for glide path control which function as air brakes, a ballistic parachute was
also added for emergencies. The aircraft can be rigged
for flight in 15 minutes with minimal effort by only one person. Originally it was launched
by foot, bungee, aerotow, autotow, and a winch launch. It has been landed on its
wheel and foot landed as well. Electric propulsion was added in mid 2014 to allow for self launching and a single charge run time
of 11 minutes at full power. As of February 2017
there have been 18 sold so if you’re interested give them a shout. And who knows? Maybe this will inspire
you to go even further and create your own
human powered aircraft. Number three, the Gokuraku Tombo. A group of motorcycle designers have put their experience
to the test in a new field by developing an ultralight airplane that’s powered only by
a simple set of pedals. Yamaha’s Team Aeroscepsy,
comprised of 14 engineers and enthusiasts with an
average age of 35 years old developed a new plane from scratch just to break the world record
for human powered flight. The Gokuraku Tombo, a phrase
that means happy go lucky, has a wingspan that
measures 117 feet tip to tip and a propeller diameter of almost 9 feet. It weights a mere 81 pounds
due to it’s super light polystyrene foam and
carbon fiber construction. The aircraft can take advantage
of thermo air currents but doesn’t need them to launch and fly. Spokesperson Shinsuke Yano
said the team is planning on having a professional
mountain biker act as the engine for the Gokuraku Tombo aircraft because you need to
keep pedaling with power that is required for
climbing uphill constantly. Considering that all the assembly work and test flights for the
aircraft are done strictly on private time outside
normal work hours at Yamaha, you have to hope that this team has nothing but success
in their endeavors. Number two, the Gossamer Albatross. The Gossamer Albatross
was designed and built by a team led by Paul B. MacCready, a noted American aeronautics
engineer, designer and world soaring champion. The aircraft is a canard configuration which uses a large horizontal
stabilizer forward of the wing and is powered using pedals to drive a large two bladed propeller. It was constructed using
a carbon fiber frame with the ribs of the wings
made with expanded polystyrene. The entire structure was
then wrapped in a thin, transparent Mylar film. This gave the aircraft
an empty mass weight of only 71 pounds. To maintain the craft in the air it was designed with
very long tapering wings, like those of a glider,
allowing the flight to be undertaken with a minimum of power. On June 12, 1979 the Gossamer
Albatross became the first human powered aircraft to fly
across the English Channel. The flight lasted two hours and 49 minutes and covered 22.5 miles
between England and France. For this accomplishment
the Albatross team won their second Kremer Prize
for human powered aircraft. MacCready’s team ended up
building two Albatrosses. The backup plane was
jointly tested as part of the NASA Langley Dryden
Flight Research program and was also flown inside
the Houston Astrodome. This, by the way, was the first ever controlled indoor flight by
a human powered aircraft. Number one, the Jinker Flapping Wing. The Jinker, an acronym for jump induced kinetic energy rebounder,
was created by Niko Pietrek. It was inspired by birds and
experiments with zeppelins, among other things. The invention is a light,
portable flight apparatus with a fuselage, a flexible frame, and downwards curved fixed wings. The Jinker is started
from an elevated place like a ramp or a hill. The pilot runs toward the wind until the ornithopter is
carried by the airflow. He then jumps from behind onto the frame and he starts to glide first. After that the pilot initiates
the flapping of the wings by gently jumping on the plane
and slowly and rhythmically increasing the body
acceleration and frequency. The wingspans will range from
29 and a half feet to 49 feet. The aircraft will have an estimated weight between 44 and 66 pounds. It’s anticipated that the maximum speed will be anywhere from
42 to 44 miles per hour. After several years of continuous work the current Jinker wing
design is now built and ready to be tested and
taken to flight trials. Pietrek currently has the
Jinker featured on Kickstarter and is seeking funding for his prototype.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. #8 doesnt make sense. Its not a human powered craft it showed the craft being towed by a car to take off. It does t seem that the wing flex isnt giving it thrust at all.

  2. The commentary for this little production is seriously over-written. Back off with the verbiage, mate! It sounds silly rather than informative…. especially when you get it so wrong. ("Dædalus." Ha ha.)

  3. Number 1 hasn't even been tested.
    Utter crap.
    He should be relegated to 1000.
    After several years of his own research, and decades of avionic history and research to rely on, the guy hasn't even got a fully tested version off the ground, literally.

  4. The speed of the 1st craft is 15mph yea cause the car pulling it was going 15 lmao the car could pull it at 50 and its be 50mph not really a self flight if you have t ok use a gas machine in order to make it fly

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  6. I have an idea for a lifting force machine.
    Step 1: Get hollowed out cube.
    Step 2: Securely attach magnet to inner bottom of hollowed out cube.
    Step 3: Place a lever on inside bottom of cube behind the magnet that's securely attached to inside bottom of cube so that one side of the lever is pointing towards you and hanging over the magnet.
    Step 4: Attach a vertical bar to the top side of the part of the lever that is not hanging over magnet witch is securely attached to inner bottom of cube. Make sure the bar goes all the way up to the inner top of the cube barley touching it.
    Step 5: Securely attach a magnet to the side of the lever that is hanging over the magnet that is attached to the inner bottom of cube.
    Note: Magnets need to be facing each other with attracting poles N,S or S,N
    Note: The lever is going to have to be really close to the magnet on inner bottom of cube because of how close those magnetic fields need to be to interact. But not so close that magnets can touch.
    The magnet on top connected to lever is pulling the magnet on inner bottom of cube towards it and since the magnet on inner bottom of cube is connected to cube, this pulling force acts as a lifting force. Now at the same time the magnet on inner bottom of cube is pulling the magnet on top downwards BUT the magnet on top is connected to the lever so any downwards pulling force is being converted mechanically by the lever into upwards lifting force. Now if you know anything about magnets you now that there are magnets powerfull enough to lift far more weight then just there own. So essentialy this divice is exploiting the powerfull pulling force of magnets by mechanicaly transforming its magnetic pulling force into mechanical lifting force through the clever utilization of a lever, and walla stuff can be made to fly. Imagine if the magnets in this experiment where electro magnets so the ammount of electrical current going into them determined the ammount of lifting force that it would have. Now imagine this system being used as an attachment that could be placed under or ontop of vehicles to counter the weight of the vehicle and any cargo its carying. Now imagine  if this was done with powerfull permanent magnets and turned sideways and placed in an electric generator and had enough strength to pass through the magnetic fields as it propelled itself forwards with its own magnetic pulling force.     Signed   AMA

  7. Only 2 actual human powered aircraft here – Daedalus and Gossamer Albatross – the others can't self launch which means they (at best )are gliders

  8. appreciate #2 – #1 is cool but seems too challenging to operate. I've seen a sola powered one – what about electricity, some pannelling and efficient batteries to support human action?

  9. 1 was a blimp ,1 was unpowered (using legs to jump off a hill ).sff hang gliders have been doing it for a while now.
    Bit the last one was a brick with wings .the drag of a human standing at the front Will be ,ere quite a lot

  10. Has anyone heard I’ve the bike that can go super fast that’s closed in. If we could put that with wings that would be amazing

  11. If they need towing or slinging to get airborne, they're not entirely human powered. The glider launched by running down a hill is a glider, not requiring any sort of human power to remain aloft, so I wouldn't call that "human powered" any more than I would call a glider towed behind a jet to get it airborne a "jet powered" sailplane.

  12. I love your video. It has informative content relevant to the subject and did not waste time with unessessary garbage. Such a pleasant change from all the other crap on u tube.

  13. You can't honestly say the Dash was "flying" when it didn't get above ground-effect, it achieved Spruce Goose land skimming but not flight.

  14. lol dinosaurs did NOT evolve into birds. Never in all of history has one species ever even once evolved into another. Millions of bones have been found from countless species and never once has there ever been a single creature that evolved into another creature. God is a scientifically proven fact. Evolution is an intentional lie.

  15. #1 is untested so far? The others have proof of concept.

    So, is the scientific theory of flight evolution with something unproven so far?

  16. Number 8 appears to be externally powered and misnomered as ornithopter. I hope the pilot of number 1 has good insurance as he will struggle for control

  17. Hard to get past number ten right off the bat. "Flying" for 19 seconds after an automobile put you into the air does not seem to be human powered. Instead, the human intervention simply slightly delays the decay in altitude caused by gravity.

  18. I have corresponded by email with Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, the physiologist who did the physical training program for the pilot of the Gossamer planes (Condor and Albatross). He even sent me a team T-shirt! I think we should be working on designs that don't stick to the pure human power regulations of the Kremer prize, but like a couple of those seen here use things like towing or launching from a hill; and also they don't need to fly very much. Then they could be sturdier, with shorter wings, and easier to manage. Just something to give ordinary people the feeling of getting into the air a little without using a noisy engine, nor flying way high like sailplanes or many hang gliders. Studying the giant pterosaurs such as Quetzalcoatlus or the giant teratorn birds might be helpful, and also some of the early hang gliding work such as that of Lilienthal and Octave Chanute.

  19. In the future, I'd like you to include the zwhite Dwarf, 45' long, 27' tall. Designed and built bt one of Burt Ratan's sons for Gallagher the commedian to connect with his audience in a different way, it now resides in a WWII hager north of central Oregon.

  20. I want one of these.

    Cycling without dealing with hills or drivers willing to kill you because rather add a few seconds to their journey, assuming they don't encounter traffic.

  21. The very first aircraft flaps it's wings yet you don't show it? And how is #4 Human powered? It might as well be a hang glider…

  22. Can someone explain to me why they all have such narrow wings? It just looks inefficient to me, but I guess there has to be a good reason since they all do it.

  23. Human powered flight is the most polluting way of travel, because per unit of mass transported, it uses the largest amount of toxic materials for airframe construction.

  24. Human powered aircraft's are not real. Some of them are gliders. Others are created with the help of modern technology like photosop, graphics, animation etc.

  25. Anything relating to science should be reported in the metric system. That’s what real science uses.

  26. I still don't understand #1. It never had a shot at succeeding. Personally I don't think it should have made the list at all. I can only assume that the uploader has a connection in some way or another to the project and wanted to give it some publicity. The concept itself is pure inefficiency. The oversight of simple muscle structure and efficiency laws is astounding. A 4 year old could have seen it. If you have to travel one mile, are you going to jump or jog? Do you think you could use less energy by jumping a mile versus jogging a mile? The very first thing to avoid when attempting maximum efficiency is upward movement. The energy it takes to overcome gravity is 100% wasted. You want all movement of the propulsion systems to be completely horizontal in relation to the direction of travel. Any vertical movement is a loss of forward motion. To compound that inefficiency is the fact that the same amount energy must now be consumed to counter the vertical momentum in order to keep a forward motion. If you wasted 10 units of energy by jumping up and down you are going to lose 10 more to offset it. That is 20 units of energy lost that could have been used for forward travel. And that is only assuming a 10% loss. It is more likely that you will lose 25+% by jumping up and down verses pedaling with you legs moving horizontal to the direction of travel. You would need another 25% to counter that meaning you are losing half of the energy you put in.

  27. simulatring broken images is not art or design. is a sort of typical american hollywood overdramatization bullshit. it's out. martix was yesterday.

  28. #1? It hasn't been tried yet? To me, that concept is interesting, and is theoretically very possible, as it is similar to the skipper, hydrofoil bike, and functions by up and down pumping using the riders weight and the flexing of a main wing. Also, surfers like Kai Lenny have learned how to pump fixed wing hydrofoil surfboards by using their legs, arms, and torque throughout their entire body to pump the board while standing on top of it, as seen on numerous yt videos. But the major difference is, that they have the wing under water and the craft and their bodies are in the air. Water, below the interface, doesn't compress, is dense, and yet is still fluid, so that lift is probably over a hundred times easier in water, while the human's drag factor by comparison is zero. So, the surfboard hydrofoil has only about a 3 foot wing span and the skipper hydrofoil waterbike is about 4 feet. The problem I see with this last human powered flight craft is that the drag on the human standing vertically could be too significant to allow the plane to be pumped along in flight, unless they build an aerodynamic canopy around the pilot, as in the other aircraft shown. The pilot might also get more propulsion standing like a surfer so they can use every ounce of their body and limbs for torque propulsion. And maybe even having a more compact geometry to the whole rig.

  29. As below, bit of a cheek to include one which is still at the design stage and not yet built – then put it at number one! Plus a rather monotonous droll voice over. Get a pro narrator!

  30. Sorry but the Archäopterix is not a Human Powered Plane in this Way. It is a Foot Started Glider and very Nice One, but not Human Powered.

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  32. LOL, what a wonderful waste of time and money. What is with the first one? It is not human powered, it is being towed by a car LOL.
    As to the future of human powered flight, there isn't any future, never will be. A human weighing 150 pounds, who can put out only a fraction of one horsepower, will never keep an airplane in usable flight. Additional source of power will always be required. Fun as a hobby though, I guess.

  33. Wait… They're seeking a professional mountain biker to pedal it? Maybe one with aviation experience?
    Hmmm.
    Yamaha pls read this

  34. Correction. Archaeopteryx is NOT a feathered dinosaur. It was proven to be nothing but a BIRD. Academia doesn’t like it nor wants the masses to be aware because it jacks up their evolutionism timeline narrative. Friggin crybabies.

  35. TOO BIG AND AND BULKY lol – gentlemen, let's invent devices and Artificially Intelligent air robotic robots – that have the intelligence to fly us where we want to go – with less bulk .

  36. Number 3 had a bafang mid drive ebike motor it's all with the pedals … fraudulent if I'm wrong I'm wrong but I'm not

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