Brearey Oscillating / Undulating Wing - Skate-Style Flight?



Hi folks,
As aye, hope this isn’t old news. Saw this one as a model-drawing in a book I owned thirty-odd years ago and never found out the name until yesterday but here is an odd thing from 1879-1885 - an aircraft that isn't quite an ornithopter but not a fixed wing design or rotorcraft either. One Frederick Brearey patented several designs for ‘wave action’ flying machines where the wing was a flexible surface designed, not so much to flap up and down bird-fashion as to oscillate back and forth, so the aircraft would be propelled through the air rather as a skate or a manta-ray travels through water. (Kind of cute but doomed I suspect ...) Anyway, here is a drawing / artist’s impression of a full-sized machine, a drawing of the model, and a couple of patent images too.
Cheers, 'Wingknut'


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  • Brearey Patent (1880).jpg
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  • Brearey Patent (1885) (1).jpg
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