AirVenture 2008 Casts Spotlight on Homebuilt Aircraft

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Every year the Experimental Aircraft Association holds its AirVenture celebration, but lately fans have been worried that that the event is slipping further and further away from its homebuilt roots. Indeed, it has been giving more and more floor space to plane manufacturers like Cessna and Cirrus over the years, but this year the EAA is attempting to ensure that homebuilt aircraft gets the spotlight.

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The Challenge of Manned Ornithopters

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The idea of sculpting a flying machine based on the flapping mechanism used by birds is not a new one. Man has likely always dreamed of imitating the freedom that the flight of these birds would allow them. The ancient Greek legend of Daedalus and Icarus tells of how young Icarus sculpted wings of wax and feathers for himself in his pursuit of his dream of flight. But since the first successful flight of the Wright Brothers, the idea of designing an aircraft based on the exact same mechanisms of propulsion used by birds has been largely forgotten.

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RoboSwift Takes to the Air

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The common swift is known for its exceptional flying capabilities. It has been discovered that the swift flies more than three million kilometers in its lifetime. This almost constant and seemingly effortless flight is produced by the swift being able to change the form of its wings. As it is able to move its wings back and forth according to flight conditions, the swift ends up being able to ride the wind and produce staggering maneuverability and efficiency in the air. It was this magnificent little bird that sparked the invention of RoboSwift.

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Benefits of EAA SportAir Workshops

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As technology continues to advance and become more readily available, more and more people are taking to the air – many of them in aircraft that they have built themselves. A variety of weekend EAA SportAir Workshops are offered on a regular basis to help aviation enthusiasts build their own airplanes, as well as to qualify owners to maintain their aircraft within regulated FAA safety standards.

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Forget the Avgas, Just Use 160 AA Batteries

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In Tokyo, Japan, a piloted one-person aircraft successfully completed its inaugural flight powered by 160 household AA batteries. During the flight that lasted a total of 59 seconds, the glider-styled plane ascended 16 feet and flew a distance of more than 430 yards. The pilot, Tomohiro Kamiya, attends the Tokyo Institute of Technology, a school that has a history of building experimental piloted aircraft.

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