Da Vinci: The Genius - Flight
Although "Andalusian polymath Abbas Ibn Firnas" is credited with inventing the first "Parachute" around 852 - and another anonymous sketch of one was made in 1470 - Leonardo da Vinci could still be considered as having inventing it independently. It's hard to know if he had access or knew about the concept before he sketched and detailed it in his notebooks. Since he also had concepts for "Helicopters" and "Planes" the idea of a parachute is rather simple in comparison. It's interesting that he choose a pyramidal design instead of round - but this could have been due to the practicality of building it with the material available.
|Anonymous Sketch from 1470|
First called "Arial Screw" is a design from Leonardo for a devise capable of vertical flight. Today we call them Helicopters but they were not built until the 1900's. Leo designed it with human power being the "engine" but it's unlikely that one could be made to work with the materials available at the time. It's not that the design itself wouldn't work its that there wasn't a way to turn it with enough power for lift off. It wasn't until true engines evolved that one could be created that could lift not only itself but a pilot.