Leonardo da Vinci's helicopter: 15th century flight of fancy led to modern aeronautics
21st May 2019
Jonathan Ridley discusses Leonardo da Vinci's influence on modern aviation.
Humankind has always had a desire to fly. Flight may be normal for us now, thanks to the efforts of numerous engineers and scientists, but in the 15th century it existed only in myths such as Daedalus and Icarus – which wasn’t that encouraging, when you come to think of it.
One scientist and engineer at the time was fascinated by nature and blessed with a problem-solving mind able to combine the disciplines of art and science. He looked at flight from a different perspective and understood that it must be able to be described by mathematics. That, if understood correctly, could then be applied to make people fly. That scientist and engineer was Leonardo da Vinci.