We may not be birds or superheroes, or fly on broomsticks or magic carpets, but what we mortal humans do have is the Archaeopteryx, the lightest glider in the world. If you’ve got money to burn and an adventurous streak, it could be yours.

Specialists in lightweight engineering since 1976, the Swiss family company Ruppert Composite GmBH first delivered these hand-built flying machines to the public in 2010. Designed by Robert Rupert in 1998 at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, the microlift sailplane allows pilots to take flight with just a running start.

What Is an Archaeopteryx?

The Archaeopteryx takes its name from the ancient dino-birds. Dating back about 150 million years ago, the Archaeopteryx is generally considered the first bird, although some research places it closer to reptiles and suggests its flight looked more like flapping than gliding.

Read More… Dinosaur-Inspired Glider Is the Lightest in the World

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