Monday, December 13, 2010

How To Make A Flying Bird

Tim Bird

We have created few toy flying machines or toy planes. Rubber band power toy plane, paper air plane, radio controlled toy plane and CESSNA R/C toy planes are our previous projects. Today I am going to discuss with you how to make a toy bird and how can fly same as a bird. If you search something about the history of a air plane you can see that air plane researches are heavily influence by the research based on "how birds are flying". Initially people think how bird are flying?, Why some bird can not flying?, some bird are very small but they can fly quickly and some bird very large but they can fly long hours without any difficulties. These questions influence people on different flying machines. Nowadays we have thousands of different kinds of flying machines varying from air-balloons to space shuttles.

Tim Bird is very famous flying bird toy, many people around the world used to play with it. Specially Chinese people create very nice flying birds (according to my experience). In our air plane project how we powered our toy air plane is using propeller. We fix some mechanism to the propeller to rotate it with very high speed to move plane forward. Due to this forward movement, wings of air plane make air gap and it makes pressure difference from bottom to up of wings. That pressure push the air plane to sky. But bird are flying using little different methodology. Basic principles are almost same. But bird doesn't have propeller and it use its wings to fly. It shake its wings in way that it can create pressure different from bottom to top. When we create toy flying bird machine we also need to shake its wings up and down to generate required power to fly. There different mechanism that we can used to make that mechanism. Here I am using a rubber band to give power our bird.

Fig 1: Tim Bird Flying Machine

This machine has few major components, body, wings, rubber band, tail wings and wing operation mechanism. To make bird's body you can use very light weight wood or plastics. Here I am not going to specify any measurements since you can make this flying bird as you like. I am only going to discuss about the methodology. The size of the machine does not really matter. But you need to notice that if you make large body wings also should large enough to fly that body. Also you might need to use heavy rubber band. You need to fix wings of the bird into the body of the bird as shown in the figure. Then fix the rubber band bottom side of the body. Wings should be able rotate around the body like a bird.

Fig 2: Wing operation mechanism

As shown in Fig 2, wings should fix with the wing operation mechanism. Here you need to have small iron rod to connect with rubber band and bend that rod like letter 'S' of the other side of rod. Two bend point of this 'S' like rod should fix with middle of the each wing. Now if you rotate your small iron rod, your wing should go up and down like bird. Notice that when its left wing goes up, right wing should goes down. Then fix the tail to body. We are done, ready to fly our flying bird.

Now, wind the rubber band backward and hold the iron rod. Then release the bird and iron rod both together. You can see when you release your bird, due to tension of rubber band, 'S' like rubber band rotate. Because of that rotation, wings of the bird shake up and down and fly the bird. Now its your turn, try this and see your bird fly.

Similar machines to try:

Phoenix Flying Bird Model Kit (Flies by Flapping Wings!)

Q E-Z Ornithopter Kit


  1. I use to build these all the time. now i am working on a flying bus that i can sit in

  2. This is a cool rubber band airplane that I think I will try to build with my grand kids.