I’m trying to design birdlike mechanical wings that will allow a human to fly, and I’m wondering how powerful they would need to be to make that work.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding. This sounds more like a physics or aeronautics question, there is no worldbuilding. The same question was asked by Leonardo da Vinci and other in the past... $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Oct 21 '17 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ Hello PhoenixTheCat welcome to world building. It would be useful if you could provide further details concerning your question to help us answer it. Do you simply want to know how powerful an engine would be needed to enable bird like flight of a human? Or are you asking what mechanical construction would allow a man to fly like a bird? What restrictions do we have to work with? Are magical options allowed? Must take off be from the ground? $\endgroup$ – Slarty Oct 21 '17 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ I’m trying to find the best mechanical construction for the wings. $\endgroup$ – PhoenixTheCat Oct 21 '17 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ There are different kinds of "flight" which have different physics involved. For example, the Wright Brother's first flight at Kitty Hawk was actually a "wing-in-ground" effect which only works close to the ground or water. Some creatures that "fly" actually only glide, or slow their fall from a higher point (flying squirrels, wingsuits). Heavy birds like buzzards need a warm updraft current to stay aloft…. We're assuming you don't mean "fly like a jet plane", but narrowing what kind of flight can help you answer your question. $\endgroup$ – wetcircuit Oct 21 '17 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ For flapping wings, it's not really a matter of power - I'm assuming they'd be powered by an engine of some sort, not by human muscle power? The power required would be roughly the same as an ultralight aircraft. The real problem with flapping wings is that they need to be very deformable, in particular controllable ways, just as the wings of a bird or bat are deformable. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Oct 21 '17 at 18:02

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