Man Flies Like a Bird Flapping His Own Wings

"Smeets developed the wings over an eight-month period. They use a special motion mechanism built around an Android phone and Nintendo Wii controllers. His system allows him to literally start flapping his arms to take off and keep flying." fake???

found here:

Promoting this video and sending it back into the queue for one more try; last queued Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 5:50pm PDT - promote requested by critical_d.


Looks fake to me, for a few reasons. The wings and the flapping mechanism don't seem to be strong enough to support his weight and the wings never show the load of his weight underneath them once he's up in the air. He also lifts his legs after he takes off and keeps them behind him, but has no support underneath like you would in a hang glider. It also seems a bit suspicious that he doesn't turn his head at all from the helmet cam view where you could easily see the wings flapping from his POV. It's all very hinky.


April Fool isn't for 2 more weeks. I call real. Also, if you read the article it's clear that flapping does not equal un-powered. His motions are translated through gyro sensors and amplified through heavy-duty servo motors. Interestingly it seems the gyro sensors are from Nintendo Wii controllers and the processing power is from an Android phone.

I say to thee Icarus; don't fly too close to the sun.


About 10 to 15 seconds in, the way they interact with the camera, how they act (particularly when they're running away... for some reason)--looks staged to me.

After another inspection, what really does it is the framing after they've run away and the two guys turn around to watch. That doesn't seem right. It's too perfectly imperfect.


and his blog as above... strange... i mean, the TED talk where the guy flys a bird means the right things are known in principle to do this mechanically... but why does it look so fake !!

you could certainly fake this all with 7 months to build a prop and edit the videos... indeed, well played sirs


oh what the fuck people ?!?

Seriously? There's even any doubt this is fake? You can clearly tell that there's CG involved; the physics of the contraption are very fake; when he's flying the tracking of the shot with the CG wings and guy flying looks terrible, AND who in their fucking right mind would, on a first flight test with such a fragile, experimental prototype go that way up into the sky risking certain death?

Look at 0:18. Notice the guy in the middle. His motion is really weird, and when he runs up to the camera, at a certain point, his edges are all blurry.

This is fake, and it's not even a good one.


But there's a shitload of history on that blog. It's a hell of a lot of content to produce for a video fake. If it is a hoax, I tip my hat to their thoroughness.


The video numbered 13/14 is clearly faked. There is a "convenient" pan to the ground, a very strange change of the stuff on the ground at 1:53 just as the camera pans back up, and suddenly the darkness of the shadows has changed. The one posted here, 14/14 is better, but it's still faked. There is a strange blur and movement when the guy runs toward the camera at 21 seconds, then at 22 you can see his shadow goes straight off to the right, while the other guys who run back have shadows that are angled away and to the right.

I really hate shit like this, because it's a "boy who cried wolf" sort of thing. When someone else actually builds new technology, potential investors are going to remember all of the hoax crap that has been pulled before.


Aside from the totally fake appearance of the takeoff and ascent the thing that really gives it away is the acting of the spectators and their framing within the shot. As mentioned above it's too perfectly imperfect. It looks like a found footage movie where the person filming seems to always be at the back of the action.


Yeah, but there's a shitload of "history" in the bible too. Hmmm...???>> ^dag:

But there's a shitload of history on that blog. It's a hell of a lot of content to produce for a video fake. If it is a hoax, I tip my hat to their thoroughness.


From reading all the analysis, I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas. I just want the future to arrive so I can see this debunked or replicated. Actually, how about when the future arrives I can pick one of these up at the local shop.


REAL. And I'm going to call you all out later.

"Oh! Something no one has ever seen before looks fake to me! I didn't pay good money for my assessing-physics-via-youtube degree just to be mocked by some Dutchman!"


Guys, THIS IS REAL, listen to the music, it filled me with so much hope. I watched it over and over, and I felt so inspired!

Also, in the end he stands there almost breathless speaking what must be the language of angels, I couldn't understand a single word


>> ^renatojj:

Guys, THIS IS REAL, listen to the music, it filled me with so much hope. I watched it over and over, and I felt so inspired!
Also, in the end he stands there almost breathless speaking what must be the language of angels, I couldn't understand a single word

EXACTLY. You can't argue with that feeling of truthiness that builds in your cockles at music like that. I would've used "Teenage Wasteland" personally, but the idea is the same.


Aside from other obvious aspects of it the most telling thing is that no person would fly that high without safety equipment especially with this kind of device.

other obvious points

1) the body language of the people walking away is really ridged

2) the volume decreases specifcaly so you can hear what the guy says its likely they redubed the sound over the top of the video. ( yet used crap quality film cameras)

3) wings are to small to provide life at such a low forwards momentum and flapping would simply detract from the lift provided.

4) if it was windy enoughf for lift then the guy would start to get lift before he moved ( you will see when birds go to fly if its a windy day extending there wings is prity much all it takes for them to begin flying.

5) you can see that the way he bobs up and down dosent look right at all

6) If you were doing this for real you would film it all with HD camaras and probably get sponsorship from a company to pay for it all.

7) the method of control would be too inprocise even if you went for automated flapping you would use some linear input for the pilot as a human does not have an intuitive sense for how arms should be flapped and then the whole system to translate that would be needlessly complex.

prevouse videos they have made all seem to have stiff acting , sound of the robotics added on top of the video and composited CGI.


You sure could fly with that if you caught a good head wind but you'd end up on your ass upside down. Also, I don't like the configuration of the camera before he takes off. It doesn't match the flying shot because you can clearly see the helmet and two front vents on it that are inches below the camera. You'd need a crazy wide angle lens to do that and it would look like a wall eye shot.


>> ^kymbos:

You're all fake!


also check this out someone already did a flapping one man flier ..probably on sift

"Built from carbon fiber, foam, and balsa wood, the Snowbird weighs just 94 lbs. and has a wingspan of 105 feet, which is comparable to that of a Boeing 737–amazingly, the Snowbird weighs less than all of the pillows on board.

The wings’ thrust is due primarily to a low-pressure region around the leading edge, which integrates to provide a force known as “leading-edge suction”. The wings also passively twist in response to the flapping. This is due to a structure that is torsionally compliant in just the right amount to allow efficient thrusting (”aeroelastic tailoring”). It should be noted, though, that twisting is required only to prevent flow separation on sections along the wing. It does not produce thrust in the same way as required by sharp-edged wings with little leading-edge suction."


This was really interesting as well.

Where was this confirmed a fake? Are you guys just assuming that cause he lied on his resume? I'm really only asking because I'm curious about the evidence that eventually tips this into the "fake" majority. It's just interesting. >> ^direpickle:

Admittedly I didn't watch this until it was confirmed fake, but I actually laughed aloud at how ridiculous the first part of the 'flight' looked.

>> ^dag:

OK. Fake. Sigh. Raise the jaded meter to 11.>> ^Ryjkyj:
"WIRED" magazine follow-up:
Also: WOW Never seen this one before.


Fake, you can see the tire tracks of the thing that was pulling him to keep him aloft....that he also just happens to line up with perfectly as he flies.

And wings like that would push you up and down with equal force when flapping like that IMO. If the wings don't fold while going up they have the same surface area going up as going down and the same amount of air being pushed around in each direction.


In case no one else notices, at 1:53 of the second video, when they run away from the wings and point the camera down at the grass for no apparent reason, you can see the video is spliced because the grass cuts to a different shot of grass before panning back up to the mythical wings in action.

Yep, it's an elaborate hoax that I'm guessing is just to make money, if even just via their millions of views on YouTube.

Too bad.

>> ^dag:

Pretty elaborate hoax if it is:

I'm right down the line on this one, but I'm going to go with REAL!


That's the thing that really gets me @lucky760. I'm really skeptical, even about the act of being skeptical, but the thing that truly convinces me it's ahoax is not any problem with video or physics, it's the fact that when people point out that Nintendo, GoPro and Android get a lot of exposure for this, it just makes so much sense that I really have no argument.


I'm so sad I only watched this now. I avoided it for ages thinking it was some sort of shitty 'flight' where 'flight' was a relative term. And then I finally watch it, see all the trappings of fakeness and don't get to call any of them out because it's been done so many times already


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