Humans have always had a fascination with flying. From the legend of Icarus to da Vinci’s ornithopter designs, we have long tried to mimic birds in an attempt to get ourselves into the air, though it hasn’t always produced the best results. Perhaps one of the most famous ornithopter designs in recent memory is the Flaptter from Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky. We have to admit, we’ve spent a fair share of our time day dreaming about swooping over baseball games in these flying machines, but we never thought we’d actually get to fly one. We may have been wrong!

This working RC Flaptter is just about the peak of our dreams. We just need someone to stick a 3-D camera on the front so we can fly it from a first person perspective and we’ll never have another Tanabata wish again!


This isn’t the first time we’ve shared this magical, remote-controlled vehicle. In fact, if you’ll rummage through your memory, you’ll find that we posted a video of Kazuhiko Kakuta’s Flaptter in January. But there have been some notable changes since then.

For one thing, the newest version of the Flaptter has a stabilizer. It also looks like the Flaptter has undergone a few repairs. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the delightful sound of the Flaptter zipping through the air.

▼ That is the sound of freedom!

Creator Kazuhiko has put together a number of other ornithopters based on birds and insects. They’re not quite as awesome as a real-life (miniature) Flaptter, but they’re fun to watch flapping through the sky nonetheless.

▼ A hawk ornithopter

▼ A raven ornithopter

If only we had an Ant-Man suit so we could actually take a ride on Kazuhiko’s creations. For now we’ll be happy to just enjoy the video, but someone needs to get him funding so he can start building life-size Flaptters and revolutionize the future of transportation!

Sources: Grapee, YouTube (Kazuhiko Kakuta)
Images: YouTube (Kazuhiko Kakuta)