Da Vinci's flying machines in Tyler! - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Da Vinci's flying machines in Tyler!

One of several of da Vinci's Flying Machines at TJC. One of several of da Vinci's Flying Machines at TJC.

He had inventions incorporating earth and fire, and water and air. Most of them worked, and virtually none of them were built in his day. But they have been now.

Leonardo da Vinci's flying machines are on display in Tyler.

Recently, we told you about the earth and fire-related machines on interactive display at the Discovery Science Place in Tyler, and now the water and air-based machines are assembled and ready for the public at Tyler Junior College’s Center for Earth and Space Science Education.

Ahhh, renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci; who doesn’t just love him? It seems no matter what you’re into he had a hand in designing, changing or thinking of it. Some great examples are hanging around TJC’s Planetarium.

“Do they work?” I asked Tom Hooten who runs the place.

“Some of them actually do work...They are highly interactive. You can turn cranks and watch things go up and down and most of the pieces are designed to be functional,” Hooten replied, “Da Vinci designed these on paper. During his time they would not very likely been built, however the design is spot-on. You could take his designs, scale it up to human-size and they would probably function.”

“What is this thing here?” I asked motioning towards a wing-looking thing.

“This is something he built to show the way that force happens whenever a wing flaps. Da Vinci collected birds. He had birds in his studio, and he would watch the birds to see how they were able to fly. He was fascinated by flight, and so he watched the birds to see how their bones and knuckles would bend,” Hooten explained.

I had to see this thing move, and the noise it made sounded like a mechanical leather bat.

His glider looks solid, he thought of the parachute, invented the life-saver and swim fins, and he dreamed up the ornithopter. He even designed a meteorological device that measure wind speed and direction.

Maybe da Vinci designed so much stuff because he didn’t have TV and the internet to distract him. He was brilliant, and it seems he was also a functional doodler with some ADD going on.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Machines in Motion starts May 24 at The Center for Earth and Space Science Education, and the earth-based machines can be seen starting May 22 at the Discover Science Place.

If you’d like to see more we have posted more video at kltv.com with Tom and Jamey, click here.

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