Multiple, 15.3 x 36 x 12.5 cm.
Materials: fiberglas, hout, plexi, ijzer, motor

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. 28/50).

Since the early 70s, Panamarenko has tried to translate the vibration mechanism of insect wings for pedal-driven light aircraft. According to Panamarenko, flapping wings could well be the most efficient form of manpower-driven flying. But while the beating wing looks simple at first glance, it is much more complex than the fixed wing or helicopter. Since a natural mechanism is missing in humans, we must, according to Panamarenko, compensate for this with a homemade design that uses our highly developed leg muscles. Different Meganeudons and Umbillies are always based on the same basic principle: between the drive and the wings, there is a spring that produces the typical flickering of insect wings. Since both wings are connected to the spring, they keep each other in balance and every wing beat is automatically followed by a spring-loaded recoil.

"I thought flapping wings could make a greater angle and thus could move more air. Because the two wings are connected to each other by means of a spring, they keep each other in balance. The wings, which look like a membrane, open up like a spring. The air that is caught in it, is subsequently pushed back by the spring-loaded recoil of the wing. That is a very efficient way of flying, but also much more complex ... ". (Panamarenko)

To demonstrate the theoretical possibility of a flight mechanism that can lift heavy weights with very wide, flapping wings, Panamarenko refers to the prehistoric dragonfly, called ‘Meganeudon', which has an enormous wingspan of 1.5 m. In the scientific reference books, however, there is no sign of the 'Meganeudon' anywhere.  There is mention of the Meganeuron, though, is situated in the carboniferous fossil age. It is a 280 to 230 million year-old precursor of today's dragonflies. Panamarenko: "It’s true, I did swap the 'r' for a 'd', to make it sound more dinosaur-like!'. Twisting objective data in order to integrate them into a new context is one of the characteristics of the happenings and Fluxus.

(Source: Morrens, P. Willemse, H., 2005. Copyright Panamarenko, Antwerp Ludion, pp 105-108)

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