Todd Reichert, a graduate student from the University of Toronto, has done the unfathomable. With the guidance of his PhD adviser and a sketch by Leonardo da Vinci from the 15th century, he built a human-powered, wing flapping aircraft called an ornithopter, nicknamed “Snowbird.”On Aug. 2, 2010, Reichert flew the 94-lb. device for a record-breaking 19.2 seconds, while peddling with his feet to power the plane. So, if he rides tandem, will it double the time? For the record, Im free on Saturday.
Reichert not only wants an A in the class, to fly like a bird and to go down in history, but his larger hope is to inspire others to follow their dreams. He was told by everyone that what he just accomplished was physically impossible, and boy, did he prove them wrong!The vice-president of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale witnessed the flight and is expected to confirm it as a world record in October. Off the record, did I mention I was free on Friday night too?