The ornithopter, the flying machine designed by Leonardo da Vinci, has been reproduced using 426 LEGO bricks. Jacob Sadovich is the man behind the model, a screenwriter and LEGO enthusiast from Idaho. The model will remain on display until the end of July in the Santo Stefano al Ponte exhibition space as part of the Da Vinci Experience multimedia show.
The model won Best Sculpture at the Brickslopes Lego Convention in Orem, Utah for its working parts and realistic design. LEGO® Technic devices enable the entire wing structure to be lifted or lowered and a crank allows the wings to be flapped.
In an article for LEGO ideas, Sadovich explained his rationale for the design. “As an avid LEGO builder and aviation/history enthusiast I really enjoyed the study and design challenges involved in getting this build ‘off the ground’. From brushing up on some 15th and 16th century history to a detailed study of Leonardo’s sketches and even a small scale model of the Ornithopter that I was able to base the proportions on I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it…”
Between 1485 and 1490 Leonardo studied the flight of birds at length, sketching a machine with two massive wings that the aviator operated with levers and pedals.
This construction follows the runaway success of the first real-life scale LEGO model of Florence Cathedral and the Baptistery, which was displayed in the Opera del Duomo Museum in autumn 2017.