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Unfortunately, for hundreds of years, airplane designers followed the bird paradigm too literally, producing a long series of failures. From the mythical fiasco of Icarus ... Icarus prepares for disaster
Flapping wings are for the birds ... to the ill-fated ornithopters of the late 19th century, early attempts at flight were simply too birdlike.
On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers finally got it right with their first successful flight of the Flyer, a self-powered airplane based on their eariler glider designs. The Wright stuff