Must see video: man flies by flapping his arms/wings?

Mar 21, 2012 31 Comments by

Full disclosure: after we put the newsletter together, the man who created this video announced that it was a hoax. It’s still a great video, though, and we hope this won’t stop other aspiring “bird men” from taking to the sky with flapping wings!

Original post:
You’ve probably heard of Jet Man, the guy who flies with a turbine engine strapped to his back, and the daredevils who jump off cliffs while wearing “wing suits” that help them to (hopefully) speedily glide toward terra firma. Now  Jarno Smeets, a mechanical engineeer in the Netherlands, has proved that he can take off and fly by flapping his arms (with long “wings” made from kite material attached),  assisted by a 2000-watt electric motor. In this video, he actually flies for 100 meters and lands safely. This may be the best human flight footage I’ve ever seen!

Debra Cleghorn

About the author

Model Airplane News Executive editor. About me: I’m a publishing professional who has a passion for aviation and RC, and I love creating issues, books and a website that help RC pilots to enjoy this sport even more. I admire scale aircraft and enjoy the convenience of flying smaller electrics.

31 Responses to “Must see video: man flies by flapping his arms/wings?”

  1. Rick says:

    Assisted…???? Just call me Thomas…………..

  2. P-Diddy says:

    I WANT SOME OF THOSE!! What a great way to get a workout!!

  3. Joe Bar says:

    That is the most awesome thing I’ve seen all week!

  4. Darin says:

    Think a 300+ guy could fly it? hehe

  5. Richard says:

    Looks like a fake

  6. kneebuster says:

    Debunked yesterday as a hoax, unfortunately.

  7. Sam says:

    Unfortunately the man responsible came forward and announced this footage was CGI – not real. Would be cool if it were real though

  8. Greg says:


  9. Robert says:

    That is obviously fake.

  10. Steve says:

    While a cool story he has come forward to admit he is a filmaker who faked the video.

  11. Richard says:

    While this is a cool video, there seems to be some discussions around the internet as to whether this is real or CGA. A few “experts” have said that while manned flight with flapping wings may be possible, the video has many flaws such as CG location, lack of any form of steearage or tail moment and the general “sloppiness” of the shoot. Of course like past videos posted here, Debra make no mention of any disrepancies.

    • Debra Cleghorn says:

      We posted the video when it first came out, and the newsletter was created before the filmmaker announced that it was faked.

  12. Richard says:

    Sorrry – misspelled discrepancies.

  13. Bobby Wilkinson says:

    maybe so–if he had a jet motor attached—ha

  14. Timothy Kenley says:

    on it Fake

  15. Jim Slaughter says:

    Too bad it’s a hoax. It had me hooked until I read the comments and watched the dutch video.

  16. Richard Ranney says:

    2000 watt motor? That’s over three horsepower! Nevertheless, the flapping mechanism is incredible! Wow! …not much use for anything, however – I would say.

  17. John S says:

    Its a Hoax, check out the following:

    May be a fake now but someday it will be real!!

  18. Ben says:

    An awesome gag….Just love it!!!!

  19. Gordon Seifert says:

    Well, it is an interesting video anyway. Wish I had seen it before it had been debunked just to see if I would have caught it. I suspect so since his feet were straight out behind for much of the ‘flight’ and he was being supported at his shoulders. His feet should have simply hung straight down. Also, the flapping was very feeble and obviously not supporting anything. But fun nonetheless!

  20. Ben says:

    I Just love Dutch humor.
    Another flying Dutchman..

  21. MIKEJ says:

    Model Airplane News & Debra: i hope you dont’ let this fakester stop you from posting fun videos like this one in the future! first person view, rocket helis, giant R/C, scale planes– i enjoy watching the great videos on your website. you should put them in one place so we can find them easier! THANK YOU!!

  22. Joep Oudenhuijsen says:

    You all do know this is fake dont’s you ???!!!

  23. Stevo says:

    Unfortunately, this video is altered. I saw a report that already proved it to be fake. However the dream is still very much alive to be able fly like that.

  24. chrissy says:

    Anything with that much profanity in it had to be a hoax! Need to just stick to base jumping with flysuits. Now thats real and true flight at its finest ! Fly like a birdman, really?

  25. chrissy says:

    wow fun stuff

  26. claude R. de VRIES says:

    My compliments.
    A fantastic prestation.
    My respect.
    Claude R. de Vries.

  27. Richard Alps says:

    Man, I have always wanted to do this so so very much! I am so taken up by this, that I don’t even want to hear about it being a put up piece of work. At least there wasn’t any real feathers and wax. Man, do I LOVE it!!

  28. Faye Phillips says:

    I want a pair of those wings!

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