[UPDATE: According to interviews with George Lucas' CGI team members, this video is being disputed as a fake! via Gizmodo]

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Ever thought about what it would be like to fly above the world, and see first hand what birds have the privilege of seeing every day? Birds do it out of instinct and for survival, and they likely take it for granted by now. For us humans though, flight is a dream.

Unless you’re Dutch mechanical engineer Jarno Smeets. For him, flight was so much a dream, that with over 8-months of planning and research, it became a cool reality. Mr. Smeets can fly.

He does it just by flapping his wings too. The giant wings are the result of 8 months of development, and uses a special motion mechanism controlled by some nifty software. With Smeets’ method, he’s able to start flapping his wings, and take off (think of the Albatross from Rescuers Down Under). To pull this off, Smeets took examples from the laws of nature, and studied what birds actually do when they obtain lift

Just like birds, humans have to amplify their locomotion to get control and get familiar with their new body expansion—the Wings. In my conception this is something which is independent of any hardware of software problem.

The flight here allowed him to travel 328 feet. For those of you on the metric system (like sensible people), that’s about 100 meters. He has plans of going further than that eventually.

This looks really awesome to me, and I would imagine you’d need a lot of strength to really get it going high. I would also hope there is a way of “resting” while you glide through the air, because getting tired while you’re that high would be a bad deal. – Remember kids, don’t try this at home, unless your Dutch, and have 8 months to spend researching the Albatross’s movements.

(via Gizmodo)

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