Thursday, May 25, 2006


Flying Machine

Da Vinci's sketches find new life.

By Jack Penland
May 16, 2006

For thousands of years, man dreamt of flying, and one of the biggest dreamers was Leonardo da Vinci. Five hundred years ago he studied and dissected birds, trying to find the secret of flight. He made notes, and initial drawings, but that is as far as he went.

Two Seattle area men chose to finish the job, building a full size flying machine with flapping wings. Today such things are called ornithopters. While others before had created models based upon the drawings, retired engineer Sandy McLaughlin and retired schoolteacher John Grove wanted to add the detail that da Vinci might have done. McLaughlin explained he wanted, "to try and do what he (da Vinci) could have done if he kept working on aviation."

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