Ready, Set, Flap!

Birds do it, bees do it. Can two weird aircraft make aviation history doing it?

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Said is in the process of transporting the Nighthawk project from Theis' Minnesota home to Florida. Then he will install the flapping wing drive unit and press on toward a first flapping flight. He is looking for funding to accelerate the effort. The Theis family name may stay with it: Jim's son Charlie is a Delta Air Lines pilot, and he says he'd love to fly it.

Will humans ever produce a workable technology for flapping-wing flight, or is it really just for the birds? "It may or may not make sense to extend it to machines," says DeLaurier partner Jerry Harris, "but people are compelled to try."

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