Leonardo's design for fixed-wing aircraft with ornithopter extension, 15th century
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Design for fixed-wing aircraft with ornithopter extension. Drawing from the notebooks kept by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) illustrating his many speculative and far-sighted designs. Da Vinci was the most outstanding Italian painter, sculptor, architect and engineer of the Renaisance period. He had a wide knowledge and understanding far beyond his times of most of the sciences, including biology, anatomy, physiology, hydrodynamics, mechanics and aeronautics. His notebooks, written in mirror writing, contain original remarks on all of these.