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DaVinci Ornithopter

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Project by Bill Huffman posted 07-08-2014 01:42 AM 1101 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this and it hangs in my home office. Its about a 5 ft wingspan and is pretty closely based on DaVinci’s original design, except for the crazy tail I added. Purists will call me on this right away, but as Terry Gilliam said, “It’s just a model”. I did all the brass work by hand, with lots of loose interpretations.

-- Im so impressed with what people can do, and I wonder how they do it. Thats what keeps me doing it.





12 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14905 posts in 2372 days


#1 posted 07-08-2014 02:49 AM

Nice model, welcome to LJ!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Skip Mathews's profile

Skip Mathews

79 posts in 546 days


#2 posted 07-08-2014 04:32 AM

What a great sculpture!

-- Being focused on a project is the best meditation, it allows you to live in the moment"

View Bill Huffman's profile

Bill Huffman

140 posts in 115 days


#3 posted 07-08-2014 04:38 AM

Thank you very much. I work in an office all week, and when I get to the weekend, its just like playing when you were a kid.

-- Im so impressed with what people can do, and I wonder how they do it. Thats what keeps me doing it.

View cyclops4069's profile

cyclops4069

61 posts in 273 days


#4 posted 07-08-2014 05:03 AM

Beautiful work Bill….do you have plans for this structure?...or is this built from dwgs and photos??...would love to get my hands on plans if you have any….love to try this one myself…..

-- regards, cyclops4069

View Bill Huffman's profile

Bill Huffman

140 posts in 115 days


#5 posted 07-08-2014 05:11 AM

Thank you, it was a great project. Its mostly an interpretation of what I could figure out in drawings, but I got a great book, Leonardo’s Machines Published by D&C (David and Charles). Its a bunch of CAD drawings of some of DaVinci’s machines and really cleared up a lot of things. From that I just SWAG’d the measurements.

-- Im so impressed with what people can do, and I wonder how they do it. Thats what keeps me doing it.

View stefang's profile

stefang

13334 posts in 2030 days


#6 posted 07-08-2014 07:45 AM

Some really well done woodworking Bill, not to mention all that classy brass work and the historical aspect. I like that you added your own details instead of making a perfect copy. That is what a craftsman/inventor from the era would have done, which makes it even more authentic in my mind. Welcome to LJ. I hope you enjoy yourself here.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View toyguy's profile

toyguy

1360 posts in 2533 days


#7 posted 07-08-2014 10:25 AM

well done

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View MarkTheFiddler's profile

MarkTheFiddler

1807 posts in 884 days


#8 posted 07-08-2014 10:26 PM

That’s a beauty! You’re liberal interpretation makes it a Bill original inspired by DaVinci. Purists preserve the lessons of history. Artists make history. Both are important, but I wouldn’t worry about what the other ‘party’ says. One day someone might be a purist about your creations.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View leafherder's profile

leafherder

299 posts in 648 days


#9 posted 07-08-2014 10:35 PM

Another elegant design. And I have to ask which aviation pioneer is next on your list: Santos Dumont, Glenn Curtis, Samuel Langley, Alexander Graham Bell, or the ones who actually succeeded – my hometown favorites Wilbur and Orville? :) Thanks for posting.

-- Leafherder

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3365 posts in 703 days


#10 posted 07-08-2014 10:50 PM

Wow. Color me “Impressed”

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Bill Huffman's profile

Bill Huffman

140 posts in 115 days


#11 posted 07-08-2014 10:56 PM

Thanks Leafherder, I think I actually want to build one of Dumont’s airships. I read the book “Wings of Madness” 8+ years ago and it was really great to get a feeling of that age. Five guys could go up in a week in home built whacky ideas, and only 2 might survive…...what a crazy time. This is Dumont’s Demoiselle

Another great book of that time is “Colonel Cody and the Flying Cathedral” by Garry Jenkins. Samuel F Cody was the first to fly in Britain, but he was actually an American, Samuel Franklin Cowdery. This is a scratch built Cathedral out of Oak of all things.

-- Im so impressed with what people can do, and I wonder how they do it. Thats what keeps me doing it.

View Mustang67's profile

Mustang67

41 posts in 250 days


#12 posted 07-08-2014 10:58 PM

That is super cool. I love your other projects as well.

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