Human Powered Ornithopter "Karura"

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<What is Karura?>

Karura is the name of legendary bird.

Karura flys in four heavens over Mt. Syumisen
Eating dragons
The wings shine with golden color
Magical gems at the head
Blaze flom mouth
1200 km over size.

In other areas in Asia they call it Garuda.

<Specification of Karura>

illustration of Karura Illustration of Karura. The illustration above shows the ornithopter, Karura. You can get the big illustration by clicking the illustraion.
Length 9 m, span 28 m, weight 36 kg. rectangular wing, airfoil is (modified) Lissaman 7669.
Wings are constructed with inner fixed wings and outer flapping wings. Wings flap down with wire, flap up naturally by pressure difference between the sides of wing. When the wing is flapping, the tab (it is not so suitable to call thie equipment a tab) makes pitching moment, then the flapping-wings are twisted with its leading edge.
illustration of wing flapping systemIllustration of power transmition system. You can get the big illustration by clicking the illustraion.

An engine pilot in the cockpit makes power with ordinary rowing motion. The seat system is similar to sliding rigger of racing boat, and it reduce piching of the body with pilot action. The slider and the hand lever are connected to a wire and the pilot makes power with arms and legs. The wire is connected to flapping wings through the edge of the horns.

The beams of inner wings are made of CFRP, and the beams of outer wings are made of wood. The body is made of wood.

The flapping cylcle period is from 2 to 3 second. In flapping the aircraft move up and down and pitching movementAso to keep attitude the tail is automatically controlled with jyroscope.

<Silever Shooting Stars>

  • at p.m. 5:05, 5th May 1993 (Heisei 5 year), the human powered ornithopter project team 'Silver shooting stars' was united.
    They are 60 members and are consisted mainly OB's of Kyoto Univ. birdman team .
    The head designer is Masashi Harada. The president was Akiko Mori.(Now, the president is Kazuho Kawai.)

  • The construction started at 1st July in three groups.
  • From 10th September, all parts were transported to Yoshida dormitory in Kyoto University.
    The members of Kyoto University birdman team join us to construct Karura.
  • At 21st November, all parts were transported to Kakamigahara city in Gifu prefecture. The construction place was in the prepalation place for Kakamigahara Aerospace Museum.
  • At 12th December, construction were finished. All period of construction were 8000 hours. Before test the aircraft was partially broken by a spectator.
  • At 19th December, non flapping aviation flight test by human powered launching. At taking off, the right flapping wing twisted to wrong side, and broken. The aircraft rushed into groud loop, and hardly broken.
  • After the test the air craft transported to Uji campus of Kyoto University, and transpoted again to Kawai's house.
    Last construction works were at Uji campus and now the construcion are suspended.

    In 1994, two paper published in Human-powered Flight International Symposium in Seattle, USA.
    Now, 1/8 model of Karura is under construction at Harada's house. We are studying the theory of flapping.

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