DaVinci's Parachute Flies - 523 Years Later
April 28, 2008 11:49 AM   Subscribe

523 years after his original drawing, DaVinci's parachute design is proven to actually work. There was an earlier attempt, but apparently the wooden frame specified by DaVinci likely would have seriously maimed the jumper. Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, the 2008 jump was made from a helicopter - another one of DaVinci's concepts.
posted by webhund (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yay Leonardo! You know, I am not crazy about heights but I think I would have taken the jump - Leonardo was pretty clever, and seemed to have an intuitive grasp on this sort of thing that few, if any, have matched.
posted by Mister_A at 11:56 AM on April 28, 2008

Well sure it's cool that it works and all. Kudos, really. But, what has he done for us lately?
posted by oddman at 12:01 PM on April 28, 2008

posted by From Bklyn at 12:04 PM on April 28, 2008

This is silly. It's an awful design that barely works. It's more the concept that's impressive than the specifics.
posted by smackfu at 12:05 PM on April 28, 2008

> Well sure it's cool that it works and all. Kudos, really. But, what has he done for us lately?

Leonardo da Vinci and His Fightin' Genius Time Commandos!
posted by ardgedee at 12:06 PM on April 28, 2008

It is impressive, smackfu, to see that his concept was sound, even though he designed it without the benefit of modern materials and tools. I do not think it is an "awful" design at all.
posted by Mister_A at 12:12 PM on April 28, 2008

What I mean is if he had just drawn a circular parachute with a hole in the middle, that would've just worked in the 1500s or whatever.
posted by smackfu at 12:42 PM on April 28, 2008

Also, DaVinci's design used wood, which wouldn't have worked.
posted by puke & cry at 12:55 PM on April 28, 2008

I'm a huge fan of Da Vinci, I mean, the guy is kind of a personal hero and all, but there is no way I would trust his helicopter. His parachute, sure. His bird-modeled gliders, possibly. But the air screw? Fuck that.

I mean, if nothing else, think about how dizzy you would get if it worked.
posted by quin at 1:00 PM on April 28, 2008

Main link looked a little Blue to me.

"Get full coverage on this topic and more with a FREE trial"!

(Me? 27 free, 5 static line. Thanks for the idea, Leo.)
posted by Nick Verstayne at 1:11 PM on April 28, 2008

As well as inventing the parachute, Da Vinci must have invented the activity of 'parachuting'.

Who was to use this new invention? Where were they to jump from? Was it to be for fun?
posted by popcassady at 3:29 PM on April 28, 2008

This comes perilously close to vindicating Hudson Hawk, and must be stopped.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:04 PM on April 28, 2008

Leonardo summarizes it here.
posted by jayCampbell at 4:05 PM on April 28, 2008

Argh, I was hoping no one would mention Hudson Hawk. That's the first thing that popped into my head when I read this.
posted by puke & cry at 4:11 PM on April 28, 2008

Count me as thoroughly unimpressed. Da Vinci's original design said:

"If a man is provided with a length of gummed linen cloth with a length of 12 yards on each side and 12 yards high, he can jump from any great height whatsoever without injury."

So basically, this "successful test" consisted of redesigning every parameter of the parachute save its general shape. Linen cloth? Uh no, let's go with modern materials instead. 12 yards? No way, let's go with 7 yards instead. Those wires? Not enough of them, and they seem too short, let's lengthen them. The wooden frame? Let's do away with it entirely.

How on earth is this Da Vinci's design? It's not the same materials, not the same size, not the same specs, and the one tested doesn't even have the frame Da Vinci designed.

Congratulations on testing a pyramid shaped parachute, but it's just somewhat similar to what Da Vinci designed, it's not the same by a long shot.
posted by splice at 12:14 AM on April 29, 2008

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