At MAKE Labs we built a squadron of balsa-and-tissue ornithopters for William Gurstelle’s how-to article in MAKE Volume 08. The trickiest part was bending the tiny wire crank that flaps the wings in time. Even with Bill’s clear instructions, that little wire was trial-and-error.
This kit spares you that error. The pre-bent crank and laser-cut parts fit precisely; you only need scissors, glue, and a few evenings. Instructions are well illustrated, and online there’s a build video and a teacher’s guide. The delicate ’thopter weighs ¼oz, has a 16″ wingspan, and flies about 1 minute on 200 turns of the rubber band. At press time BirdKit.com was upgrading the kit, so yours may fly that much better.