Designed in France in 1969 by Gérard De Ruymbeke, this patented flying bird is an ornithopter. From the Greek words 'ornithos' for 'bird' and 'pteron' for 'wing', an ornithopter is any aircraft that flies by flapping its wings. Birds were the inspiration to Leonardo da Vinci when he designed an ornithopter in 1490. He never saw the ornithopter fly however, because it was heavy and required too much energy to produce lift and thrust.
In 1929 a human-powered ornithopter, constructed by Alexander Lippisch, was towed into the air and glided. The first toy ornithopter was sold in Paris in 1879.
This amazing flying bird by Brainstorm has been delighting kids of all ages for over forty years. The patented mechanical toy flies by flapping its tear-proof wings up to 50 metres, powered by a high quality rubber band and mechanism. Simply pull the lever under the right wing, hold the bird upside down and turn the handle 50 times.
Lift the tail and adjust the angle to achieve the desired flight direction, this enables the bird to climb and turn. Finally press the switch under the right wing, once the wings begin to flap, gently launch the bird into the wind but do not throw.
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The The Original Flying Bird is great fun in the park or garden. It kept my son amused for a long time. It's good exercise too as you're running after the bird!
It's good to travel back in time with this Original Flying Bird toy but I'm sure it used to fly better and for longer, but maybe with all the technology around today my expectations are too high. It does seem to prefer a bit of wind, unlike my partner!
I first saw something like this Original Flying Bird on Tomorrow's World in the 70s, when Mylar had just become available. I remember thinking that I would have to get one, as Leonardo da Vinci is a bit of a hero of mine. Now I've got one, it's absolutely brilliant and I expect Leonardo would be tickled to death!
This was lots of fun on Christmas day with my 5 year old nephew. It's a little delicate, so supervision is definitely required, and be prepared for a lot of walking to and fro!