Mitsuhiro Nagamatsu, Thin Foam and Bio-Mimicry Pioneer

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I followed Michael Thompson into making thin foam gliders. Tyler MacCready had been making sturdier, thicker Depron foam gliders that moved pretty fast. But I found that EPS foam sliced to about .5 mm is lighter than paper and it works very well for my students. I was very excited to discover that all the way back in 1996 a Japanese man by the name of Mitsuhiro Nagamatsu wrote an extraordinary book about thin foam gliders, named Fantasy Wings. He made them into birds, butterflies, flying horses and lots of other mythical creatures. I have not met Mr. Nagamatsu but admire his work and am trying to contact him for an interview.

The author writes in the book that he filled the house with so many experimental designs that they started to crowd out everything else. something I can relate to!
The book is not available outside Asia but I hope we translate an English edition. I had to ask my brother-in-law to purchase and send it.
He was already developing various tumblewing spinoffs similar to the Spinny Bug in the 1990s, as well as maple seeds, etc.
When you buy the "book" (packaging is right, actual book in middle) you also get a couple dozen sheets of high quality foam (left). The red stickers are cut to become eyes and beaks, but also provide front weight.

 

Most of the foam measured at about .7 mm.thick and the size of A4 paper.

 

 

Mr. Magamatsu does not seem to have known about walkalong gliding (air surfing) when he wrote the book, although he does have an illustration of a hang glider and thermal lift. People--particularly in Taiwan and Singapore where the book has been translated into Chinese--are now using the designs for walkalong flight.

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