Jarno Smeets flying man hoax


They say that “theoretically” the bumble bee cannot fly, but in reality it is commonly airborne. They also say that theoretically humans cannot fly by flapping artificial wings…but in reality is it possible?

The implication is that simply flapping is enough to get you airborne, but birds don’t just flap their wings haphazardly like Jarno Smeets is doing in this video, they have a controlled pattern that exploits the Bernouilli effect to lower the air pressure above the wing and reduce it below the wing. A man could flap wings in that way and generate lift, but assuming he weighs about 80kg and can run at a maximum of 10kmh he’d have to have wings 2km wide to generate the necessary upward thrust.

It will be interesting to see whether this is another viral marketing campaign from the Hi-Tech sportswear company as was the liquid mountaineering video we featured here almost two years ago. I’m pretty sure I can see the winch wire at one point just before the video cuts to a lateral shot of Smeets in the air.

10 thoughts on “Jarno Smeets flying man hoax

  1. I’m checking the Hoax..stories –Congratulations this article came up first “Flying Man Hoax” Google ..With the amount of materials that Jarno Smeets has put up blog, video’s etc..this would be the most elaborate Hoax setups ever..

    If you’re wrong… I’ll be back here to see your response!

  2. Not saying you are wrong (it’s certainly a difficult video to believe on its face), but my understanding was that the actual wing flapping is controlled by software and motors and his arm waving just activates it. He is not claiming human-powered flight. And folks doing hang-gliding training on the ground are able to get airborne (if only a bit) without having 2km wings.

  3. Those who would dismiss Smeets out of hand need to check his machine more closely. He does NOT claim to have performed human-powered flight, which current theories say is impossible. Rather, his shoulder-mounted harness uses electrical power to provide the wing flapping power. His arm motions are merely to control the wings. And the wing motion does i fact simulate that of a bird and should provide lift. Whether that lift is sufficient fr his flight seems confirmed by the videos. I have seen nothing in the videos to question the results shown.

    My only question had to do with the choice of the mechanism for flight controls by arm motion. Why would he want that? There I think the answer is that by doing so, he comes as close as may be possible to the feel of flying by human power. Although his arms do not support him in the air, he may feel as if they do and frankly, I would like to feel that myself.

    More power to him.

  4. Interesting that people are so keen to jump to Smeets’ defence, we see the same kind of response when people publish perpetual motion machine videos…

    As to how elaborate it is, with all those blogs and videos, well…the liquid mountaineering and countless perp motion machine hoaxes have put in even more effort than this, to be honest.

    I will roast and eat a chicken if this proves to be scientifically valid!

  5. What is most alarming for me is the fact that people actually thought this video was real. First, because anyone that knows anything at all about physics or aerodynamics would immediately know this was bogus. But, secondly, and more importantly, the video was terribly made and obviously doctored. Anyone who CAN’T notice the obviously fake gyrations (and how they don’t sync up with the rest of the video) is in for some bad experiences in the future as more and more people become capable of producing this kind of bad fake video.

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