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Air_ray, modelled on the manta ray, is a remote-controlled hybrid construction consisting of a helium-filled ballonet and a beating wing drive. Its light design makes it possible for it to “swim” in the sea of air, boosted by helium, in a similar way to the manta ray in water.
Propulsion is achieved by a beating wing drive. The servo drive-controlled wing, which can move up and down, utilises the Fin Ray Effect® and is based on alternate pulling and pushing flanks connected via frames. When pressure is exerted on one flank, the geometrical structure curves automatically against the direction of the influencing force. A servo drive pulls the two flanks alternately in the longitudinal direction, thus moving the wing up and down.
Originally posted by intelgurl
I'm not sure what the advantages of having an LAV (lighter than air vehicle) that flaps it's wings as opposed to using a propeller - but the cool factor is definitely there, and you know how those air force generals are... ;-)