Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Weight Wings

And work your way up to human-powered flapping flight
  [vote for,

The Christmas season has provided me with the extra time at home to experiment with my regular excersize routine which normally includes four or five songs from the Michael Jackson Pandora station, push-ups during advertisements and lots of free-style and exaggerated dance steps. I had tried it with weights before because it provides a better upper body workout but hadn't really gotten into a groove with it until this vacation when the extra time let me do a good half hour with the weights to an extended mashup of MJ's greatest dance tunes. There is a math to the way the weights go around the room that allows you to just sort of follow the path of the weights and contribute only a minimum of energy to keep the attached to your hands as they fly around the room. It reminded me of this idea that I don't think I have contributed to the halfbakery before:

Weight Wings.

Put little foam wings on the hand weights that provide more of an opportunity for adaptive aerodynamicism during your dance routine, and then grow the wings, through experiment, from there. You could add in little mini-weights on springs for some gyroscoping energy-storage action if the fancy strikes you. 90 days later, wallah, human-powered flapping flight, tighter abs, a rocking hard core, and a greater appreciation for the funk, all in one package. Merry Christmas.

JesusHChrist, Dec 24 2013

You mentioned funk and human flight... http://t.nbcnews.co...g-flight-6C10611810
More like rock ballad and human flight thoug [4whom, Jan 02 2014]


       Umm...there's a little more to flying than just flapping your wings.   

       Human bone density, for instance. Our bones are solid and strong and heavy, but not so strong that the amount of muscle power required to flap wings big enough to get our big heavy bone-filled bodies off the ground wouldn't cause those bones to splinter like Wal-Mart toys on December 27th.   

       Or perhaps let's talk flight dynamics; bird's wings are dynamic, skewing and flexing in ways engineers have yet to completely replicate in a working model. Without that ability to so radically yet precisely alter the shape of your big foam wings you'll just be another guy running around wearing big foam wings telling everyone you're about to take flight.   

       But please don't let my curmudgeonly cynicism dampen your enthusiasm. Have fun with your holiday dance party.
Alterother, Dec 24 2013

       The breast-bone of a bird sticks out from the rib cage significantly, so that the wing muscles attached to it have a better leverage. Humans lack that significant feature/advantage, with respect to flapping flight.
Vernon, Dec 24 2013

       Two common pieces of gym equipment are the assisted pull-up and assisted dip machines. Why couldn't an assisted flying machine be made? You wouldn't be able to fly around the gym, but you could get a little feeling of self-propelled lift-off.   

       Space is usually at a premium in gyms though, and given that even assisted flying machines would need big wings, space would be a constraint.
swimswim, Dec 24 2013

       Forget skeletal density, as near as I can tell, avian muscles are about half as dense as human for the same proportional strength. In addition, those muscles are primarly located in the chest, anchoring the wings, whereas human upper body muscle is much more present in the arms. This means the arms are better for manipulation, but not as strong swinging from the shoulder.   

       Thus, additional arm muscle development is going to make it even harder to fly.
MechE, Dec 24 2013

       So these are arm AND leg wings. Most of the power is going to come from torque between to upper and lower half of the body. And the energy storage springs can be designed into the wing to help with power -- either several large halteres-type energy-storing gyros or a bendy gyro-component at every articulation - maybe even in every cell. Have I put an idea for one-piece gyro chain mail in here yet?
JesusHChrist, Dec 24 2013

       //there's a little more to flying than just flapping your wings.   

       Ach, go tell it to the birds.
not_morrison_rm, Dec 24 2013

       And four winged dinosaurs (and bugs I think) came before the two winged kind. The two wing design with "birdy legs" facilitates soaring rather than flapping flight.   

       Peripherally, in regards to birdy legs, a weight lifter friend of mind once pointed to my cut-off jean shorts and said, "JHC, you have a string hanging from your shorts there, oh no sorry that's your leg," so I might not be the right person to actually attain air with this method, but I plan to get lots of excersize on the way there.
JesusHChrist, Dec 24 2013

       I like the idea of using air drag to increase what resistance is possible by calisthenics itself. Perhaps a suit with louvers which open to catch air and slow any movement by the wearer. The faster you try to dance wearing it, the slower you'd be able to.   

       It would be like exercising under water.   

       <<2 fries>> I have been working on the body motion for this at least for the upper body and can say the following thus far: it could be a combination of the crawl and doggy paddle strokes, and use leverage between the hand, elbow and shoulder, and the wings could start coiled aroun your arm and then unfurl as the stroke gets going. I'll send a video once I can find someone who can stop laughing long enough to hold the camera. I wonder what the most effective leg stroke and wing shape would be. I am thinking crawl/back/doggy, not butter/fly.
JesusHChrist, Jan 01 2014

       Legs should be one wing molded together and using a kick stroke. I been doing 20 minutes a morning to music, feet in place, without weights just swinging my arms back and forth and trying to catch as much air as possible, you get a good sense of the shape of the air around you and how it swirls. Thinking the next step would be hand held sticks with foam flags duck taped in a down-folded curl. The frame might end up looking like a narrow coil that wraps around your body ending in a backwards coiled broader coil spine of the wing that was folded more loosely around your body and could unfurl whe caught by the air.
JesusHChrist, Jan 02 2014

       I am happy that someone won that prize (link). I wonder is there some way to integrate the energy storage and distribution into the structure of the device -- instead of using berrings and pulleys, distribute down to the articulations/cells -- make the structure so that the motion is more 3D and bendy/springy so full human body motion can be translated into the surrounding air.
JesusHChrist, Jan 02 2014


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