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LEONARDO DA VINCI - Codex on the Flight of Birds

Place: Biblioteca Reale, Turin

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Facsimile (Giunti, Florence 1976); ca. 1505; 21x15 cm

This codex was originally composed of 18 leaves, but only 17 remain today. The analysis of the flight of birds involves here the application of rigorous mechanical methods. The function of the wing is compared to the wedge, that of the tail to the rudder, while the laws of equilibrium account for the way in which the bird-machine balances in the air. Leonardo also studied air-resistance, currents and winds.

fols. 6v-7r: Studies of the joints of a mechanical wing.

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