Leonardo-Inspired Pedal Plane Flaps Wings and Flies Canadian grad student provides the power By Dan MacKenzie, Newser User Posted Sep 24, 2010 9:54 AM CDT Promoted on Newser Sep 24, 2010 10:24 AM CDT 7 comments Comments (AP) (User Submitted) – Leonardo da Vinci drew the first man-powered ornithopter over 5 centuries ago, and the concept has finally become reality. A University of Toronto engineering PhD candidate took the very flight in an aircraft called "Snowbird," which has a 105-foot wingspan and weighs only 94 pounds. He pedaled to get it airborne, and the plane maintained altitude and airspeed for almost 20 seconds, covering about 475 feet by flapping its wings. Todd Reichert said the demonstration was "meant to act as an inspiration to others to use the strength of their body and the creativity of their mind to follow their dreams." Read the full article.