Making Pterosaurs Fly
4. Erich von Holst 1957
The design of flying model pterosaurs was taken a stage further in 1957 when Erich von Holst made a flying model of Rhamphorhynchus. His model was powered by a coiled elastic band which was connected to a rocker device which flapped the wings of the model. The tail sail had to be horizontal to stabilise the model in flight, though fossil evidence suggested that the sail should be vertical.
This was the first flapping flight model of a pterosaur and from
this experiment it was clear that the Rhamphorhynchus form had the potential to
be a very good flying animal.
Holst E. von., 1957, Der Saurierflug, Paleontologische Zeitschrift, 33, pp. 15-22. 7 figures.
Erich von Holst (1908 – 1962) was a German behavioural psychologist who founded the Max Plank Institute for Behavioural Psychology in the 1950's