More than a year ago, artist Bart Jansen literally launched an unusual tribute to his beloved deceased cat Orville by having the tabby preserved and attached to a remote-controlled quadrocopter. OrvilleCopter may have been one of the first taxidermied animals to go flying, but he's not the last.
Orville has a new buddy, the OstrichCopter. It's exactly like it sounds. Jansen and technical engineer Arjen Beltman took a male ostrich who had died on an ostrich farm and attached the skin of it around a quadrocopter. It comes complete with neck, head, and feathers that ripple in the wind as it takes off.
Watching the bird take flight is a deeply unnatural experience. It whirs and stutters before finally leaving the ground. The legs stick out straight behind, like a take-off on the Superman flying pose. Landing skids keep the bird from belly-flopping on its return.
The OrvilleCopter was somewhat controversial when it came out. Somehow, the OstrichCopter isn't quite as disturbing, perhaps because ostriches aren't usually associated with being pets, and some restaurants serve ostrich burgers. Plus, it's a bird, even though it's a flightless one. In some odd way, OstrichCopter may be fulfilling the dreams of Earth-bound ostriches everywhere.