Wing Architecture

Exoskeletons are all over the place these days, so let's concentrate on the exiting thing: the wings! The picture below shows a design iteration under investigation at Fluglicht (sans all the distracting parts). The Wing structure is divided into three segments corresponding to the upper arm, lower arm, and hand. The wing has seven degrees of freedom (i.e. hinges, where it can rotate). Movement is generated by linear and rotary hydraulic cylinders. The necessary power can be provided by a small gas turbine coupled to a hydraulic pump.


The structre has been designed, in order to be able to flap the wings horizontally and vertically. The wings are able to collapse and expand, and to rotate in all directions at the wrist.

Some common questions people ask:

"Isn't this much too heavy to fly?"

No. There are much heavier things in the skies. It's just a matter of power density. And the power density for this stuff is quite sufficient. In fact, have you seen the Gravity Suit? Or the Flyboard Air? And these concepts are actually seriously inefficient flyers, because they stand on the exhaust jet, and don't use aerodynamic lift. But granted, it will be a challenge to make this light enough to be carried by a normal person.

"Isn't hydraulic stuff much too slow for this to work?"

No. This is not an excavator. And acceleration is just a matter of moved mass and force. Check out Isaac Newtons work, that guy kicks rocks! It's actually quite amazing, what you can do with a couple of MPa of pressure.

"If it's that obvious, why has nobody done this before?"

Actually some people did, but they left out the exoskeleton and the hydraulics, and all the other necessary stuff. Maybe, because that was some 100 years ago. But I guess they somehow left all the world with the impression, that flapping flight is impossible. And impossible things usually stay impossible, till someone lands a rocket booster right on that preconception.

"Ok, but isn't this dangerous?"

Yes. Deal with it. We certainly will.

Still not satisfied? Then ask a question!

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