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Science FICTION Reviews
Frank Herbert’s Dune began its 3 night run 20 years ago today, in our 2nd part of the 20th anniversary review of ships and technology we look at their versions of the Ornithopter. Ornithopters are a form of air vehicle, originally envisaged as flying like birds rather than powered. Although the wide wing concept art by Jim Bandsuh followed this philosophy, that specific design was only seen briefly towards the end of the third act, the majority of the Ornithopters we see are more fixed wing, with mechanical variations for the wings, but clearly kept up by rotors.
This more mechanical Ornithopter I presume was native to the planet Arrakis, had wings tight to the body, but were highly manoeuvrable. The central body was narrow, big enough for 6, although in an emergency with seats removed 8 or possibly 9 could fit. The controls were basic but functional with a wide 180° view from the cockpit. It landed vertically on four legs that extended from beneath the main body on wide pads to stop the ship sinking into the sand, entry and exit was done via a ramp at the rear.
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