Posted by: Olgen K. Ifti | September 27, 2010

Da Vincis winged dream – almost – Quirks and Quarks

A Ornithoper by Leonardo da Vinci

Image via Wikipedia

Leonardo da Vinci would have smiled this week at the sight of a huge, gossamer-thin craft, with wings as long as an airliner, soaring overhead, flapping its wings like a bird and powered by a single human. But when the University of Torontos ornithopter landed 19 seconds later, he probably would have said, “That was pretty good, but youre not there yet.”Ornithopters are machines designed to fly like the birds, a dream that goes back to the myth of Icarus and Daedalus and first proposed as a machine by da Vinci in 1485. Of course, his device never flew because he underestimated how large wings would have to be to support a human, and he didnt have modern lightweight materials to make them. So his dream of building a machine that flies like the birds has remained unfulfilled for 525 years.

via Da Vincis winged dream – almost – Quirks and Quarks.

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