By now most people on the internet have seen the video of Dutch engineer Jarno Smeets achieving flight with his motorized bird wings. When I first saw this video on Wired after finding the link on Reddit, I was in awe. That was so cool. I really was not questioning the legitimacy of the video. Then I read the comments on Reddit, and followed those up by reading comments on other sites such as Wired and Gizmodo among others. Too many people were screaming, “Fake!” Some people even questioned if Wired had even done its homework.
Needless to say I rewatched the video, closely this time without amazement. This time I could sort of see why other people had their doubts; however, I still wanted to believe it was real, and I had little reason to believe otherwise while watching the video. So, I sent the link to my fiancé who is a computer and engineering whiz and can usually spot a fake at once. He told me it could be, but he had no reason to doubt it was real. Yay, I have hope again!
Today, Wired attached this update, which goes into much detail about what the camera was doing during recording, and the physics that would be involved with something like this without being biased. The writer, Rhett Allain, does not commit to one side or the other, but tries to show what he could determine was really happening in the video.
I personally believe some people were confused. Many believed that Smeets was flying by using his own arm strength, but in fact he was using a motor putting out 2,000 Watts of power to support not only his weight but also the light-weighted wings. He has also been developing this device for over six months.
Not to say that the backstory could all be a lie, but there is too much real history that can be found to prove it is not fake. People also assumed this was first flight, but how do they know that. There are actually videos that prove it was not the first time, and the previous attempts did not go so well.
I just think so many people really wanted someone to really invent something like this, but when it really happened no one actually thought it could be done. We are such a jaded society. I believe that Mr. Smeets has actually created a way for humans to take flight, and if it turns out I am wrong, oh well.