Parachute by Leonardo Da Vinci

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Parachute Leonardo Da Vinci Leonardo Da Vinci was a well-known polymath, artist, engineer. And may well have been the greatest inventor in history. His designs were spectacularly ahead of his time. If they had actually been built, they might have revolutionized the history of technology. What were some of his imaginative sketches? Da Vinci, who was fascinated by the idea of human flight. Contained in the Codex Atlanticus, he diagrammed one of the one of the first parachutes designed in the late 15th century as a way for people to drift gracefully through the air. In his notebook he remarks that with such a device anyone can jump from any height without injury: “If a man have a tent made of linen of which apertures (openings) have all been stopped up, and it be twelve braccia (about 23 feet) across and twelve in depth, he will be able to throw himself down from any great height without suffering an injury.” Like much of Leonardo Da Vinci’s ideas, the parachute was never actually built or tested by Da Vinci himself and because he never published his diagrams, nobody else knew about them until his notebooks were discovered long after his death. Perhaps the most distinct and unique aspect of Da Vinci’s parachute design was that the canopy was shaped like a triangle rather than round and was draped with cloth, leading many to question whether it would actually have enough air resistance. The canopy was held open by a square wooden frame, which alters the shape of the parachute from conical to pyramidal. Leonardo Da Vinci is best remembered as the painter of the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, but what astonished me was his multiplicity of talents, all with success. I can only imagine Da Vinci, in his spare time doodling sketches for working parachutes and flying machines like helicopters that resembled the 19th and 20th century. It was also fascinating

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