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Flight by hersheydesai Flight by hersheydesai
Leonardo was particularly fascinated with flight. He invented a conceptual flying machine after hours of studying birds and bats in flight.

Modern science tells us that among creatures in flight, the dragonfly is possibly one of the most advanced flying insects, and so, deriving on Da Vinci’s initial desire to create a flying machine based on the natural flight of birds, my schematic is based on imitating the natural flight of the dragonflies.

Following Leonardo’s principles, I studied the movements of the dragonflies at the botanic gardens in Singapore, capturing images of them at several angles to understand their wing structures and perching dynamics.

The notes taken were written down in a cursive font similar to the original Leonardo’s font to make the overall theme as authentic as possible. While Leonardo did usually prefer “mirror writing”, starting at the right side of the page and moving to the left side, there were instances when he wrote in the normal direction, particularly when the work was intended for someone else. This schematic has its information written in normal direction since it was intended for other audiences.

Using the dragonfly as a theme was also inspired from personal captivation with the insect, having chased around and photographing it on numerous occasions. Dragonflies have been around since the age of the dinosaurs and continue to show incredible maneuverability, using their two pairs of wings to significantly increase acceleration and climb, with less energy expended. Some dragonflies can even achieve a maximum speed of 25-30mph, and their general speed is around 10mph

The schematic was divided into different parts according to the golden rectangle for visual appeal and to ideally separate the information into their own segments.

The notes taken are a mixture of facts, figures, and scientific information referenced from two academic journals

While the schematic may appear to be a knock-off of the Vitruvian man, quite the contrary, it isn’t. It is a general mathematical calculation to measure the ratio of wingspan vs the body of the dragonfly.

One of the key factors behind the flight of a dragonfly is its proportions in terms of size and wingspan. By using a simple geometrical calculation, the schematic shows an analysis of the dragonfly’s wingspan and body proportion. The mechanical construct was duplicated using the same dimensional ratios.

The end result was a conceptual mechanical harness with a 5.2m wingspan with two pairs of wings, with three divisions on each wing to compensate for the weight of an average human being. Maneuverability closely mimics the dragonfly by using a torso and hip joints, allowing the pilot to arch their bodies in order to turn, climb or dive. By using, a gearbox with bearings on the lower set of wings would work as a cantilever allowing more lift at a lesser energy expended, similar in function to the scales of the dragonfly’s wings.

Concerning color, the schematic sticks to a faded brown color often seen in the existing Leonardo’s notes. The schematic avoided using pastel colours to simulate the authenticity of the image, as the goal was to make it appear as if Leonardo created this schematic himself.
There is also a canvas paper pattern overlaid to simulate the original notes and the design was printed out on canvas to even roll it up in a manner Leonardo maintained his notes.

In clockwise order, the first larger section consists of a proportional comparison between a dragonfly and the conceptual flying machine. It also included small notes about the wing structures of both, the insect and the construct. Next was an individual sketch of the various segments of the machine. Below that were sketches of an observational study based on the behaviour and flight patterns of the dragonfly, understanding how the angle of movement and speed varies according to the inclination of the body.

In conclusion, engineering a method to soar the skies paired with the mechanics of reality was the peak of imagination during Leonardo’s time.
For Da Vinci it was the desire to see the world from a wider perspective, and letting his imagination soar. For me personally, this assignment originated from my own curiosity of flight, with the idea refined through the mindset of Da Vinci, allowing me to not just pay homage to the Renaissance Man, but also briefly live and see the world through his perspective.

Done as part of my Sociology of Design assignment (Masters of Design)
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Cirian Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013
bloodt good work this! You captured Da Vinci's style perfectly, and your description was really interesting as well!
TonyPete Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Rawglor Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nice.
FreeBirdIllustration Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Student Digital Artist
This is very cool. Nice work!
dadukk Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
are u planing cunstructing that? just kiding, I think this amazing .
hersheydesai Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Professional General Artist

I wish I could...but, I'm just a designer. All thumbs when it comes to actually building stuff.
dadukk Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
oh.... I really wanted to see that constructed
PixelObsessed Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i lov it *__*
sqn3k Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012
wow, i thought i was leonardo's drafts :)
hersheydesai Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thank you :)

That was the original intent...
mippieArt Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I absolutely love this!!!!!
Lilyas Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
Amazing work. I really like it.
NYX-34 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012
This is a very elaborate and impressive mechanical design for a flying mechanism based on the anatomy and flight capabilities of a dragonfly. I hope you earned a superb grade on this project!
hersheydesai Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thank you :)
Received top scores ;)
mousebird Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012   Digital Artist
I love how this looks! Great idea!
Stroke1986 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
First i thought its the schematics realy from Leonardo i guess he would realy liked this one ..i do for sure :D
hersheydesai Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012  Professional General Artist
That was the original idea...and I'm glad it looks like that to you.
Stroke1986 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank it was done as you wanted :D Becouse its absoloutly looks like and original!
elbarien Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I absolutely love the muted colors and thought that went into this!
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Submitted on
December 2, 2011
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