Wing Design

Here's a design for a wing armature that works (but you can't fly with it).  The real armature is constructed of aluminum and delrin, but this prototype is made of popsicle sticks and push pins.

wing prototype (closed)

This is the closed position, with the wings extended straight out to the sides. Each blue line is a straight rod, and each red dot is a joint. Most of the rods are the same length. The green lines are springs, to offset gravity. The center grey plate is the frame, held in the middle of the back with shoulder straps.

wing prototype (half open)

Halfway open, the first set of braces away from the center can be seen to be jointed. The lower segment of what was a straight line in the closed position is a little bit shorter than the upper segment, to change the angle of the outer part of the wing as it opens.

wing prototype (open)

When fully open, the wings will have about a sixteen foot span. The long detachable rods on the end will be made of 1/4" Delrin, and the gradual bend will come from the weight of the wing material. The wing material will slide onto the armature from each end like a custom fitted sleeve, and will zip together at the center. Note that the springs (green) have maximum leverage when open and almost no leverage when closed, because the two rods that they're stretched across form a straight line. With the right amount of spring force, the wings are stable in any position.

All of the designs, images and construction details on these pages are Copyright (C)2000 by Charlie Kellner and Doug Linger.  You may link to these pages if you wish, but please don't repost or publish the information.  Permission is granted to use these designs for making your own personal costumes.  For commercial use or resale, please contact