This drone flies using da Vinci's 530-year-old helicopter design

Feb 02, 2022 324

BY: Stephen Shankland

In the late 1480s, Leonardo da Vinci sketched out a clever design for a one-person helicopter propelled by an "aerial screw." You may have seen his drawings and wondered whether one of the choppers could ever take flight. Now we know the answer. The Italian genius was right. 

Starting in 2019, a University of Maryland engineering team designed and tested the underlying technology as part of a design contest. Then over the last year and a half, team member Austin Prete built Crimson Spin, an unmanned quadcopter drone using da Vinci's screwlike design, and flew it on several brief journeys.

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