The machines he invented were ahead of his time and these prototypes were built based upon the many designs he drew of his inventions. He combined a scientist's passion for exploring how things work and an artist's ability to vividly illustrate his revelations. His machines were ingenious and visionary ~~ often ahead of his time. They illustrate principles at the heart of machines today. He surely would have been fascinated by today's technology, but he may not have been overly surprised. After all, he predicted much of it.
The first one we saw was his flying machine. With this design, Da Vinci wanted to find out if a flapping wing could lift a person into the air. He wondered if a quick, powerful thrust of the lever could flap the wing strongly enough to lift an attached 200 pound weight. The actual machine was to be huge, about 40 feet long and 40 feet wide, more than six times larger than this model.
|The Flying Machine|
Along with tanks and cannons, Da Vinci also invented a mobile machine gun. The barrels in Da Vinci's design fan out, enabling the gun to fire upon a wide swath of enemy soldiers. With its two large wheels, it's easily towed and turned. The tall worm screw at back controls the machine gun's aim by adjusting its height. Most likely the barrels are loaded from the rear, through the small door between the wheels (a technique called "breech loading"). Modern, breech-loaded machine guns didn't appear until the last half of the 19th century, during the U.S. Civil War.
|Mobile Machine Gun|
|Dropping the hammer|
|Olive Oil Press|