Sunday, April 2

Leonardo was right: this quadcopter works and is based on his sketches from 500 years ago

Leonardo da Vinci was the true man of the Renaissance. He painted, sculpted and above all imagined. Y among the many things and wonders he imagined was an airship which had an appearance that resembled in a certain way the current quadcopters.

Now the University of Maryland recovered those sketches to create a functional drone. Its wings, inspired by the Archimedean screw, would theoretically allow the air to be pushed downwards so that the vehicle could rise. Leonardo was right: the quadcopter flies.

Ahead of his time (once again)

the little drone, which they called Crimson Spin, it is an aircraft with four wings with that curious shape of screw thread and that were made of plastic. There was a fundamental difference in the final design of this team of engineers.

This unique design was created by Leonardo da Vinci in the late 1480s.

That difference was that instead of using some kind of manual propulsion like the one Leonardo proposed in his sketches, these wings were powered by electric motors and batteries. The key was to achieve small variations of propulsion in each of the wings to be able to vary the direction and height.

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The University of Maryland Project started in 2019 as part of an aircraft design competition, and one of the members, Austin Prete, managed to complete the design to complete his final project.

Even if initially he and his peers were skeptical, the previous computer simulations and the 3D printing of those curious wings seemed to promise surprises. That’s right: they presented their solution at the Transformative Vertical Flight 2022 event, where unique ideas about vertical landing and takeoff aircraft were presented.

Leonardo would have had a hard time succeeding with his design. Not only because of the propulsion or control problems of the aircraft, but because of the materials: the wood or leather you intended to use is too dense for aircraft.

This quadcopter uses aluminum and plastic, as well as computerized control and the help of some aerodynamic and fluid simulations that made it possible to polish the design and make it functional.

Via | CNET