Friday, May 2, 2014
Leonardo da Vinci's Aerial Screw
In the late 20th century, interest in Leonardo's inventions escalated. There have been many projects which have sought to turn diagrams on paper into working models. One of the factors is the awareness that, although in the 15th and 16th centuries Leonardo had available a limited range of materials, modern technological advancements have made available a number of robust materials of light-weight which might turn Leonardo's designs into reality. This is particularly the case with his designs for flying machines.
A difficulty encountered in the creation of models is that often Leonardo had not entirely thought through the mechanics of a machine before he drew it, or else he used a sort of graphic shorthand, simply not bothering to draw a gear or a lever at a point where one is essential in order to make a machine function. This lack of refinement of mechanical details can cause considerable confusion. Thus many models that are created, such as some of those on display at Clos Luce, Leonardo's home in France, do not work, but would work, with a little mechanical tweaking.