Da Vinci Aerial Screw / Helicopter
One of Leonardo’s most iconic images, the Aerial Screw (also known as the Helicopter) illustrates the ingenuity of da Vinci and indicates (along with many other drawings!) his obsession with flying. While this idea may never have gotten off the ground, for some basic technical reasons, it gave us an insight into the different ways in which Leonardo considered the challenge of human-powered flying, and defines him as an inventor well ahead of his time.
While it is often referred to as a helicopter, the premise of the lift to make it rise is more like Archimedes’ screw than the rotors of a helicopter. Our model uses one of the bevel gears he drew in his codices and creates a nice 2-to-1 increase in speed of the crankshaft, so the mast spins quickly, illustrating the manner in which this machine would have worked.
A great kit for beginner to advanced model makers, this is a great way to learn about gears and flight and brings Leonardo’s iconic drawing to life. Takes between 1 and 3 hours to make. (Glue has to dry!) This is a great project that works well and looks really cool on the shelf!
Age Rating: 9+ While this kit can be made by youngsters starting around 9 years old (and younger), we like that it is both interesting and compelling for kids of all ages – right up to those in their 90’s! They can be made by beginner model makers, but having some skills in model-making would be good.