Dutch ‘engineer’ develops human bird wings

By on Friday, November 8, 2013

Jarno Smeets, a Dutch engineer is the first to develop a system for humans to fly like a bird. He started his project almost a year ago and reported about the developments on his blog. The first ‘test flight’ failed but last Sunday he gave it another try and managed to fly 100 meters in a park. For those who think he build a complicated system, think again. It consists of two lightweight wings, two Wii controllers, a smartphone and some electric motors that drive the wings up and down. The video, below, which shows Smeets running through a park in the Hague flapping enormous wings, suddenly ‘lifting off’ and flying through the air, gained worldwide attention.

Some images of the flight:

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Does this invention mean we can all fly instead of drive to work in the near future? Worldwide, all kinds of researchers were not so sure about that and examined the video to find out if it is real. Even Mythbusters and the creators of Star Wars looked into it. The longer the video was online, the more people started to question it. Viewers became even more sceptical  after it emerged that no scientists actually knew ‘Jarno Smeets‘, who claimed to have created the technology.  So, don’t you sell your car yet…

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Tonight Smeets confessed that he is actually a ‘filmmaker and animator’ named Floris Kaayk. Jarno Smeets turns out to be a fictional character. Kaayk describes the faked footage as ‘online storytelling’. ‘I’ve worked on this experiment about online media for 8 months now,’ he told a Dutch television show. ‘I wanted to show how to tell a story through a blog. A story about the dream to fly that so many of us have.’

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