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We Make You Fly
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As I understand it, humans can't fly for the same reason big birds don't fly -- we're too heavy, a key contributor being our skeleton, made with solid (rather than hollow) bones to support our frame and head.

Easily solved, one would think -- while the current generation of chielfly titanium implants is not necessarily a weight saver (have not immediately found supporting data), clearly one can design a competitive, or even lighter endo-skeleton.

Our service will meticulously replace the heaviest bones (perhaps sparing the skull), but assuredly the hips, ribs, pelvis and extremities while you sleep. Awake to feel like a superhuman, with your weight trained muscles enabling you not just to walk, not just to run, but to fly like the birds!

theircompetitor, Jan 05 2012

//There's probably a few things that you could spare.// http://en.wikipedia...ki/Hemicorporectomy
[mouseposture, Jan 05 2012]


       This process will probably be fatal. Your red blood cells (or something equally important) are made in the bone marrow.
Vernon, Jan 05 2012

       honestly, Vernon, details, given the magnitude of what's proposed :)   

       [21_Quest], this is of course somewhat tongue in cheek, but I'm saying one can thus (re)build a human that is sufficiently strong for human powered flight. You'd wear a wing suit -- the question is how much weight could you (and need to) to save).   

       I believe you will need to get down into the 50 to 75 lb range with a very strong adult's muscles.   

       As the entire skeleton is 40% of the weight (let's say 35% to save the skull -- it's obviously pretty freaking hard -- but I'm not sure it's impossible.   

       It's probably be a lot easier to build functioning powered exoskeleton wings. But honestly, I've been waiting for the Moller Car for 20plus years. We need some radical thinking here :)
theircompetitor, Jan 05 2012

       There's probably a few things that you could spare.   

       To begin with, at least one kidney could go. Lose the thymus. Reduce the intestines drastically - we no longer need to digest raw meat. Do away with the legs but keep the feet (for landing). Teeth are optional too, and would save a few grams.   

       The bladder is a bit of a luxury too, but then again it doesn't weigh much when empty, so probably no point losing it.   

       What else?   

       Hmm. The pleural membranes are a waste of weight (in fact, they're often deliberately fused in people who get recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax), and can go. A couple of ribs on each side can be managed without. And little fingers (and toes) are not really necessary. Hair can also go.   

       As for the skull - probably no advantage in replacing it (or other bones) with titanium. But the skull could be multiply trepanned to remove a few tens of grams.   

       Naturally, whole-body liposuction would be a good idea too.   

       All in all, I reckon you could get the average human down to 30kg without too much effort, although of course they'd be non-average by the time you'd finished.   

       People have been trying to work out the minimum gene set for an organism. Someone should work out the minimum body-part set to leave a human viable, in suitable surroundings.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 05 2012

       I'm sorry, I don't see bad science here. I even pointed out titanium is not a weight saver -- but I'm comfortable believing a bone of equivalent to human strength can be built that weighs less.
theircompetitor, Jan 05 2012

       Tape up the mouth and nose and pump helium in through the arse.
pocmloc, Jan 05 2012

       Actually human bone is pretty efficient in terms of strength-to-weight. Your femur can support a car.
RayfordSteele, Jan 05 2012

       //pectoral muscles//   

       I know they do a breast-reconstruction surgery that brings part of the latissimus dorsi around front. Perhaps a similar use of the gluteus maximus could make use of the human body's largest muscle - yeah, it'd be a little farther back, but I think the human's center of gravity would require that anyway.   

       Delta-ish wings would help positioning them, and the high AOA requirement matches up well with the needs of human landing gear.
lurch, Jan 05 2012

       //The pleural membranes are a waste of weight (in fact, they're often deliberately fused in people who get recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax), and can go.//   

       There would be pleura serous consequences and repercussions.   

       Surely some humans should be capable of flight. Ive known quite a few near seven foot tall one hundred forty pounders that could get blown over on a windy day. Lets start strapping wings on tall skinny dudes, and dudettes more likely, and let natural selection or whatever take its sweet course.
rcarty, Jan 05 2012

       I dont see much of an idea here. Even if we go to all the trouble of reducing a normal human's weight to.. my weight, they would still need wings. It seems easier to just make a bigger pair of wings with an artificial muscle running across the breast to flap them. They could even be shape memory wings, like Batman's. Or collapsable, like Yves Rossi's.
DIYMatt, Jan 05 2012


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