Republication from The Conversation

 

The prototype design of Da Vinci’s “tank”

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Leonardo da Vinci is generally recognised as one of the great figures of the Renaissance and one of the greatest ever polymaths. As the world marks the 500th anniversary of his death, it’s important to look at some of the ways in which he showed that – as well as being a painter, sculptor and engineer – he was a thinker who was way ahead of his time.

Engineering – Dr Hywel Jones

Leonardo da Vinci is renowned as much for his inventions as his works of art, studies of architecture and anatomical drawings. The documents that survive show us his ideas for a wide range of devices. They include some of the first concepts for gliders, helicopters, parachutes, diving suits, cranes, gearboxes and many types of weapons of war. Many of these may be seen in use today, having taken the best part of 400 years to become practical realities.

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