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  • [music]

  • >> Leonardo da Vinci was born April 15th, 1452 in Anchiano, a small Hamlet north of

  • Vinci, as the illegitimate son of Ser Piero da Vinci and Caterina.

  • He died in exile at the Château du Clos, in Amboise, France in May of 1519.

  • [pause]

  • He was an accomplished Engineer, Architect, Botanist, Anatomist, Geographer, Mathematician,

  • Artist and Writer.

  • Although best known for his paintingsThe Last SupperandThe Mona Lisa”, Leo

  • also conducted and documented over 30 dissections of the human body.

  • In addition, he invented machines that were put into use in the manufacturing of day-to-day

  • items, such as ropes and needles,

  • as well as pulley systems for building sites and watering and well mechanisms.

  • [pause]

  • In this video, we'll be taking a look at one such invention, the Glider, and attempting

  • to separate the fiction from the reality using

  • his appearance and portrayal in the Assassin's Creed games as a primary reference and comparison

  • tool.

  • [pause]

  • The Flying Machine was a glider-like vehicle designed and built by Leonardo da Vinci. It

  • was first tested by the Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze in Venice in 1485.

  • Some time after arriving in Venice, Ezio and Antonio de Magianis attempted to find a way

  • into the Palazzo Ducale, so as to save Doge Giovanni from assassination by the Templar

  • Carlo Grimaldi.

  • Upon stating with frustration that only birds could enter the heavily-guarded palazzo, Ezio

  • remembered Leonardo's invention, and promptly left for his friend's workshop.

  • [cutscene]

  • >> Leonardo’s fascination with flight can be traced back to his childhood. He once states

  • in his notebooks that flight was his destiny,

  • recounting a memory from when he was very young of a kite coming to him in his cradle,

  • touching his lips with its tail feathers.

  • Childhood memory or not, without a doubt Leonardo took a major cue from toy kites and the Greek

  • legend of Icarus, which was more than likely known to him.

  • Another inspiration were insects and bats, specifically for the overall design of the

  • wings.

  • And last but not least, it was a form of escapism, a dream of total freedom, of getting away

  • from everything that held him back and pulled him down.

  • [pause]

  • The first wing contraptions are randomly doodled onto folios that can now be found in the Codex

  • Atlanticus.

  • However, the first serious thoughts on manned flight didn’t find their way onto paper

  • until he was in his early 30’s, around 1485.

  • While Leo toyed with various ideas for flying machines, including ones where the pilot would

  • have to paddle with his arms and legs to flap the wings,

  • and upright models whose wings are reminiscent of a dragonfly’s, it was the batwing glider

  • design which features in the games that he always came back to and refined over the years.

  • Some models have completely rigid wings, others sport jointed wings, but all are based on

  • extensive studies on the flight of birds, their centre of gravity, and their manoeuvrability.

  • [pause]

  • We know that he even tested at least one of his glider designs, making note of it in one

  • of his notebooks that it failed.

  • It is unlikely that it was due to the lift needed to keep it airborne, as suggested in

  • Assassin’s Creed, but rather due to too heavy materials and general construction flaws.

  • [pause]

  • In a further note he recounts the dangers of crashing, and what to do when it happens.

  • He particularly points out to take care of the iron hinges and bolts, which would cause

  • injury, as well as fragments of the wood frame should it break up.

  • He also notes that banking too sharply will cause the glider to lose its balance, causing

  • a tumbling and most probably fatal crash.

  • [cutscene]

  • >> In Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Leonardo would go on to improve the flying Machine's

  • design by adding an incendiary cannon onto its back, which could both be used to attack

  • as well as start fires to keep the machine aloft.

  • This Bomber was manufactured in bulk by Borgia forces.

  • [pause]

  • In reality, The Bomber featured in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood as an evolution of the Glider

  • is an invention of the Ubisoft team.

  • While it has been suggested that the onboard flame thrower may well be after a design by

  • Leonardo, let it be said that it is not, or at least not close enough to be compared to

  • the bomber's firing mechanism.

  • [pause]

  • Despite all the adjustments made to the glider by Leo over the years, and designing a take-off

  • and landing ramp which also features in Assassin’s Creed, he never managed to fully get it off

  • the ground.

  • It took until the rise of carbon fibre and parachute silk in recent years, plus a slight

  • modification of adding a tail, that a successful model of the original glider could be built

  • and flown.

  • And so Leonardo’s lifelong wish to take to the sky was finally fulfilled, just as

  • he promised some 430 years before...

  • [pause]

  • >> The great bird will take its first flight over the rise of the great Swan, filling the

  • universe with wonders, filling all writings with its fame, and bringing eternal glory

  • to the nest where it was born.

[music]

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Leonardo's Inventions - Of Facts and Fiction (Part 1)

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    Jeng-Lan Lee posted on 2014/03/01
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