Code of Birds Flight
The Codex on the Flight of Birds ( Italian Codice sul volo degli uccelli , also known as Codex Turin ) is a bound collection of sheets with scientific writings, notes, sketches and drawings by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519).
The codex contains 18 sheets of approximately 15 cm × 21 cm. The work is dated around 1505. Leonardo wrote the text in his characteristic mirror writing and provided it with numerous drawings and sketches.
According to various literature, Leonardo constructed a number of these devices and tried to launch them from the slopes of Monte Ceceri near Fiesole , in the northeast of Florence . The flight attempts failed because the performance of the human muscles is not sufficient to generate the necessary lift for the weight of the person. Leonardo noted that his assistant Tommaso Masini broke a leg or a few ribs during the attempts. Nevertheless, Leonardo da Vinci is often cited as the historical founder of bionics , as he analyzed the flight of birds and tried to transfer his findings to flying machines.
The author Matthias Eckoldt opposes these traditions. According to him, there is just as little to read in the code of a built flight instrument as of an attempted flight or the injuries mentioned.
The application and documentation of empirical - scientific methods brought usable knowledge and suggestions for empirical flight research for the first time. For example, in Leonardo's notes, the change in shape of the bird's wing is correctly mentioned for the first time, the feathers of which form a closed surface on the downward stroke, but open on the upward movement so as not to impede the upward stroke.
Little is known about the early history of the Codex. After Leonardo da Vinci's death in 1519, all of his notes passed into the hands of his pupil Francesco Melzi (around 1491/92 - around 1570). His heirs dissolved Leonardo's estate. The manuscripts were sold, even as individual sheets, and the valuable material was scattered. Today the work is located in the Biblioteca Reale in Turin , Italy .
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