FlyTech Dragonfly

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The Flytech Dragonfly is WowWee's entry into remote-controlled flying toy industry. The Dragonfly has been incorrectly billed as the world's first commercially available RC ornithopter (flapping wing aircraft).[citation needed] It was actually preceded by several other products, including Hobbytechnik's Skybird, Park Hawk, and Slow Hawk radio controlled ornithopters, and the Cybird radio-controlled ornithopter from Neuros.

The Dragonfly is made from lightweight but strong materials and has a crash-resistant structure. It is rechargeable and has multiple modes for beginner and advanced users. The Dragonfly is not a robot like the majority of WowWee's current products, such as the Robosapien and the Roboreptile. Replacement wings are available for purchase.

History[edit]

The Dragonfly was invented by Sean Frawley and Dan Getz who began experimenting with ornithopters while they were still teenagers.[1] The four-winged design of the Dragonfly was based on a previous rubber-band-powered ornithopter kit designed by Nathan Chronister and manufactured by The Ornithopter Zone. It also uses the same flapping wing design as the DelFly. The newly available micro-sized motors and batteries developed for cellular telephones made it possible to build an electric-powered, radio-controlled version. Mr. Frawley has since earned a degree in aerospace engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and now works for WowWee.[2] The Dragonfly was first introduced at the January 2007 CES show in Las Vegas, and was being sold in RadioShack stores in the United States in February 2007.

Hardware[edit]

The Dragonfly is made of lightweight materials that are strong and crash-resistant. Its gears and internal frame are made of Delrin. These parts, and its other internal electronics, are protected by a body molded from Expanded Polypropylene. Carbon fiber rods give the Dragonfly's wings strength, while Mylar film give them lift and thrust.[3] At 25 grams, its very light nature makes it easily susceptible to gentle wind currents.

The Dragonfly operates for approximately 5 to 10 (rarely 15) minutes on a single charge of its lithium polymer battery. The Dragonfly recharges by plugging into its remote control unit, which itself requires 6 AA batteries. Charging time is about 20 minutes.

Other versions[edit]

  • FlyTech Dragonfly comes in multiple colors, blue and green are the most commercially available, while red/orange ones are less common.
  • One version of the Dragonfly is designed to resemble Barry B. Benson from the 2007 DreamWorks animated film Bee Movie.
  • Also in 2007, WowWee released a remote-controlled "Rex" from the ITV sci-fi drama series Primeval.
  • A Toys-R-Us exclusive variant called the Hornet had a more wasp-like body.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Winerman, Lea (2002). Teen Biz Flies High, Science World, Sep 27, 2002
  2. ^ Marriott, Michael (2007). If Leonardo Had Made Toys, The New York Times, Feb 2, 2007
  3. ^ Block, Jeff (2004). Interview With Sean Frawley, Creator of the FlyTech Dragonfly RoboCommunity.com, Apr 20, 2004

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]