It flies! Da Vinci’s dream comes true. Two mechanical flying machines deserve some attention. They were built by a team of engineers at a company called Festo in Germany, which specializes in factory automation. One is designed after a seagull. The other looks like a giant jelly fish.
The gull is made of carbon fiber and plastic foam. It weighs a little over 17 ounces, with a wingspan more than 6 feet across. The engineers who built it, after a lot of ka-thunk, ker-plunk trial and error, can now put it on the ground and it will start flapping and take off on its own.
And in maybe their most glorious flight of fancy, they created an enormous mechanical floating jellyfish, called the AirJelly, part of which was a helium balloon.
Leonardo devoted much of his time to the idea of flight as indicated from this quote attributed to him.
An incident in Leonardo’s youth is very telling of his efforts to achieve flight, which the following Leonardo Da Vinci quote shows;
“It comes to me almost like a dream, the first recollection of my infancy. I was in my cradle and a great hawk flew down to me. It opened my mouth with its tail and its feathers struck me several times inside my lips. That bird seems to me now to have pointed me to my destiny.”
Leonardo took this incident as an Omen that he was meant to fly, someday and it strengthened his resolve to achieve flight.
It is a wonder Leonardo didn’t come out of that experience with a phobia for birds.