The Mona Lisa is one of Da Vinci's most famous works.
Leonardo Da Vinci, was an Italian artist who's works include the Mona Lisa, and a mural above a doorway at the Santa Maria delle Graze Monastery entitled The Last Supper. Like many before him, Leonardo dreamed of flying like the birds. Not only was he an artist, but an accomplished scientist and inventor, as well.
Leonardo made sketches of a flying machine that were based on the flight of birds. He first tried to make an aircraft that would flap its wings to get a man into the air but later discarded the idea. He found it impossible to design wings which human muscles could propel. He then started to work on a fixed wing glider, similar to today's hang-gliders. He studied how large birds such as raptors would fly in circles using air currents to push them upward and theorized that humans could use the same principals to make a glider rise. Leonardo also foresaw the invention of the parachute and the helicopter, showing that he was, indeed, a true visionary..
These are some of Da Vinci's sketches displaying his idea's for a flying machine.
Unfortunately, most of these ideas were never published and were lost for hundreds of years when he abandoned them to go to Milan when Charles of Amboise invited him to paint a portrait of Louis XII. However, all of these inventions appeared four centuries later in America.
For more information on Leonardo Da Vinci, go here...
Click back to return to early visionaries and next to continue on to lighter than air flight.