da Vinci: The Genius- Vite Aerea

Want a first look at da Vinci: The Genius? You got it! I previewed the exhibit with the press and took photos of a few favorite pieces in the exhibit. Here is the first of my favorites: The Vite Aerea!

DSCN0502 Vite Aerea: The Helical Air Screw

"If this instrument made with a screw be well made – that is to say, made of linen of which the pores are stopped up with starch and be turned swiftly, the said screw will make its spiral in the air and it will rise high." -Leonardo da Vinci Manuscript B. folio 83 verso.

Designed to be made of reed, linen fabric and wire, this screw-like device could be operated by four men turning cranks on the shaft of the screw. This design is meant to compress air and thus obtain flight. Described now as the ancestor of the modern helicopter, this design was sketched by da Vinci but never constructed.

In da Vinci: The Genius you can see the Helical Air Screw realized as a beautiful and towering machine. With no ropes around this machine

you can step under the broad canopy of linen and look closely at the workings of this creation.

Although many believe that weight constraints would keep this Aerial Screw from taking off into flight, it seems no less amazing to see. What a delightful mind Leonardo da Vinci had to conceive of such a concept!

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