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Codex Atlanticus, folio 749r

Flying Machine of Milan

The designs of flying machines designed in Milan are probably the final ones to involve flapping flight. Leonardo would later discard this idea for gliding flight.

The pilot is seated inside a cockpit, with hands and legs free to strongly push to power the wing beats. Engaging all the pilot's limbs simultaneously appears to be Leonardo's last desperate attempt to generate the huge energy needed for flapping flight.
Leonardo notes that he wanted to build this machine in a hidden workshop close to the present Palazzo Reale, behind the Tower of San Gottardo, and wrote that he wanted to fence its perimeter with wooden boards to protect it from curious gazes.
L3 Collection
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