As fans of Dune will readily see, an ornithopter is a flapping wing flying machine, as a helicopter is a rotary wing flying machine. Where of course we have seen how Dragonflies are elliptical winged insects capable of up to 56 km/h speed. They also have pterostigmas that control flutter, gaining up to 25% speed [in gliding mode]. Then, there are airflow and wing flex sensors that indicate sophisticated, highly tuned control loop networks. These insects are capable of forward and reverse flight, hovering and sideways flight. They also have up to 97% success rate in predation. Such a natural model will of course inspire engineers.
So, we can see here, a Dragonfly robot ornithopter:
Resemblance to a modern attack helicopter’s pod-boom-sensor turret design is probably only partly coincidental, as form follows function:
The Dune Ornithopters, as fantasy machines, don’t count. But, we may look:
A Dune-inspired discussion:
Design for high maneuver flight seems to have led to convergent technological evolution, a point that has come up again and again in the history of technology. END