A BRIEF HISTORY OF ORNITHOPTERS
The ancient Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus tells the tale of how Daedalus made wings of wax and feathers so that he and his son Icarus could escape from captivity. But Icarus flew too close to the sun and his wings melted, while Daedelus flew too low and crashed into the rocks. Both died in their attempts to fly. Another early story tells of King Bladud, who ruled in Britain in the 9th century BC Bladud supposedly constructed a pair of wings with which he proposed to fly. But, according to the monk Geoffrey of Monmouth in a history of the British kings, Bladud was dashed to pieces as he landed on top of the Temple of Apollo in the town of Trinovantum. Earlier, in 1010, a monk in Malmsesbury, England, attached artificial wings to his body and jumped from the top of his abbey to glide to only two broken legs upon landing. Other tower jumpers suffered death or injuries, while a few achieved some partial success with their glides. Later, Leonardo da Vinci, realized that human powered ones wouldn't be able to fly and drew sketches of some ornithopters of his own. Around 400 years later, the French inventor Gustave Trouvé designed an ornithopter that was powered by an internal combustion engine. This led people to make what is now the rubber band powered ornithopter which I now give to you.