Leonardo da Vinci Glider



Leonardo da Vinci Glider was sketched along with many other flying inventions and mechanisms that would power and control them. In the following pages, we will recreate them from his original drawings and examine and animate them. First, we will have a look at da vinci wings. This is probably one of his most debated drawings because at the time he sketched it, it might have been impossible to build.

The image below shows one of the drawings he created while studying a Kite, a small, agile bird. He attempted to convert the Kites skeletal structure into a flying machine –


Leonardo da Vinci's Glider

Leonardo da Vinci’s glider sketch


Although modern materials like aluminum and synthetic clothes were not available to him at the time, historians have recently attempted to build it using materials he would have had available and found that it could actually fly with a couple of small modifications. The main modification to his glider design is the addition of a rudder to stabilize the yaw, or left and right movement of the glider.


Leonardo da Vinci glider

Model of Leonardo da Vinci glider


Here are the original sketches of Leonardo da Vinci flight that led to the development of the glider, you can almost see his train of thought, this image shows an outstretched batwing with its proportions noted –


Leonardo da Vinci’s bat wing with proportions

Leonardo da Vinci’s batwing with proportions


He would often buy birds in a local market and study their wing structure, motion, and shape, after studying he would set them free.

This next leonardo da vinci flight plane sketch is of a bird wing but this time he investigates the possibility of adding some mechanics to it which would allow it to move like a birds wing –


Leonardo da Vinci's bird wing with mechanical connections

Leonardo da Vinci’s birdwing with mechanical connections


The following shows Leonardo da Vici plane sketch for the actual glider, you can see how he was inspired by the wings above –


Leonardo da Vinci's glider

Leonardo da Vinci’s glider


The Leonardo da Vici flight above shows where a man could actually lie into the machine. His waist would be inside the ring just below the wings, his hands would hold the two sticks coming down from the wings for directional control and a flapping motion would be powered by the man forcing his legs downwards with his feet inside the two spurs. You can see this in the small insert to the left of the main picture.


Leonardo's Glider Model from rearLeonardo’s Glider from the rear


Here are our sketches of his original drawing, obviously, they’re not quite as good as the original, but then again, we are not Leonardo da Vinci :)


Leonardo da Vinci’s Glider 2

Leonardo da Vinci’s Glider 2


Leonardo da Vinci’s Glider 3

Leonardo da Vinci’s Glider 3


Leonardo da Vinci's Glider 4

Leonardo da Vinci’s Glider 4


Leonardo Da Vinci’s Simple Glider design

Who invented the glider – another design of his simpler glider has been shown to work with the simple addition of a rudder. As you can see from the sketch below, it is a much simpler machine and therefore more likely to work, and as the man himself is quoted as saying  “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” –


Leonardo da vinci glider – simple desgn

Leonardo da Vinci glider – simple design


The video below is taken from a BBC documentary showing how Leonardo da Vinci’s Glider could actually work while being built with materials and tools Leonardo would have had access to. The only addition to the original design is a rudder, during previous attempts at flight the glider would try to turn sideways, the rudder stops this from happening –


Leonardo’s sketches and the principles, he discovered while developing his glider, set down some of the most basic principles of flight, many engineers and Leonardo lovers tend to agree with that he is one of the founding fathers of the branch of physics which is now known as aerodynamics, and Leonardo da Vinci inventions drawings are the most important inspiration, especially for aviation industry. His glider model is available from Amazon.com Here – Leonardo da Vinci Flying Machine Model.


Leonardo da Vinci Flying Machines Model