Ornithopter

Ornithopter
Name: Ornithopter
Nickname: 'Thopter
Function: Aerial Transportation
Manufactured by: Unknown
Affiliation: Used by many factions across the universe.

Paul fastened his safety harness, saw that his mother was secure, checked the aircraft. The wings were at full spread-rest, their delicate metal interleavings extended. He touched the retractor bar, watched the wings shorten for jet-boost takeoff the way Gurney Halleck had taught him. The starter switch moved easily. Dials on the instrument panel came alive as the jetpods were armed.
-Paul Atreides' experience of flying an ornithopter.

Technology Information

The Ornithopter, also referred to as the 'thopter, was a bird-like aerial craft, usually used to seat several people, that had a flapping wing-mechanism. The wings on either side of its hull, which was structurally aerodynamic, moved up and down rapidly, creating downward thrust, and were the cause of the machine's flight. An experienced thopter pilot could maneuver a thopter brilliantly, and use the rear jet-pods to increase speed.
Da Vinci's Ornithopter
Leonardo Da Vinci's original ornithopter design.

Out-of Universe Information

The ornithopter was originally developed by Leonardo Da Vinci during the Renaissance in Italy. He believed it could be put to good use, and be the first device allowing man to fly of his own accord. He studied the movement of birds and their anatomy and developed his working model. However, the science of getting something that large to fly is most likely impossible, as Da Vinci's craft, as well as countless others built later, failed to work. The longest flight ever achieved from a flapping craft was barely mentionable.

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