Wing Machine

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Project by Bill Huffman posted 07-08-2014 11:56 PM 2442 views 8 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was an attempt to make a flapping wing. It is Purple Heart, and uses lead shot filled counterweights to make the wing flap.

It actually works really well, but the lead shot that I filled the counterweights with is causing them to rupture over time. I had no concept of long term wood movement when I built this.

The little friction clutch works well, you just place the winding arm over it and hold the outer gear while winding up the counterweight. The wing also extends and contracts with the use of a lever.

-- Im so impressed with what people can do, and I wonder how they do it. Thats what keeps me doing it.

11 comments so far

View Skip Mathews's profile

Skip Mathews

117 posts in 1725 days

#1 posted 07-09-2014 12:38 AM

That is totally cool! I do wonder how you do it :) where do you get these great ideas? To me it looks very complicated!

-- Being focused on a project is the best meditation, it allows you to live in the moment"

View Bill Huffman's profile

Bill Huffman

157 posts in 1294 days

#2 posted 07-09-2014 01:06 AM

Lee Valley offered these great re-print books a number of years ago and my wife got them for me for Christmas; 1800 Mechanical Movements and Devices. They illustrate a bunch of old patents and mechanical principles that I really took to.

I was terrible in school, but found that visually I can figure these things out very easily. I still don’t know basic theory or geometry names or the like, but I know what it looks like.

The other book I got one year was Mechanisms and Mechanical Source Book from McGraw Hill. Pretty dry stuff if your looking for a novel, but great if you want to design a wing machine!!!!!

-- Im so impressed with what people can do, and I wonder how they do it. Thats what keeps me doing it.

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2360 days

#3 posted 07-09-2014 03:17 AM

Please tell me you have video of this thing.

-- Brian Timmons -

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 2901 days

#4 posted 07-09-2014 06:07 AM

Your work is amazing, da Vinci is a great inspiration

-- Dreaming patterns

View Doe's profile


1393 posts in 2705 days

#5 posted 07-09-2014 09:10 AM


-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View xylosapiens's profile


198 posts in 3489 days

#6 posted 07-09-2014 09:50 AM


-- Alejandro Moreno alias xylosapiens, CANARY ISLANDS

View woodNfish's profile


51 posts in 2933 days

#7 posted 07-09-2014 01:59 PM

1800 Mechanical Movements and Devices is an out of copyright book and is available online as a free pdf download from and probably google books. Mechanisms and Mechanical Source Book may not be, but you can search for it. There are 2 or 3 good mechanical movement books and if you look around the web you can even find gifs that illustrate different kinds of mechanical movement. Here is one of my favorites, and no, I don’t speak German:

If you like automata, you will enjoy Doug North:

-- woodNfish

View helluvawreck's profile


29764 posts in 2742 days

#8 posted 07-09-2014 02:12 PM

Very nice and well done. I don’t know about a flying wing but it sure would be a great back scratcher. One thing is for sure – it sure is one helluva conversation piece.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View ralbuck's profile


3907 posts in 2141 days

#9 posted 07-09-2014 08:44 PM

At the front of your booth; it will at least draw a crowd of lookers!

Neat job.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View bonobo's profile


297 posts in 1931 days

#10 posted 07-09-2014 09:15 PM

Without video, these photos are just a tease.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

View Bill Huffman's profile

Bill Huffman

157 posts in 1294 days

#11 posted 07-09-2014 10:07 PM

Sorry, can’t find the movie I had for it, I will see if I can make a new one. Its actually in a closet but should still work.

-- Im so impressed with what people can do, and I wonder how they do it. Thats what keeps me doing it.

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