LEONARDO DA VINCI

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THE WANDERLING'S FIRST FLIGHT USED A LILIENTHAL DESIGN, ENDING WITH THE SAME RESULTS AS DA VINCI'S




On the third page of ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT: The Path Unfolds, relating living with my artist uncle some years following the death of my mother, I write that it was under his auspices somewhere approaching or near age ten that I first heard of Leonardo Da Vinci. Actually, more clearly what happened was, after reading the Da Vinci story above as found in True Comics, No. 58, March 1947 titled 500 Years Too Soon, because of a sudden growing interest in Da Vinci, my Uncle began showing me pictures of Leonardo's flying machines in earnest. So saying, I recognized them from my past as a preschool four or five-year old, I just didn't know (or remember) who Leonardo was specifically or how the drawings related to either him or me.

In Codex Atlanticus, that relates to Leonardo Da Vinci's notes on the flight of birds, I write that my older brother who was born three years before me, and because of being older, started school several years before I did. As he went from kindergarten through to the third grade my mother helped him with his reading. Even though I hadn't started school because of being too young, vying to garner as much if not more attention than he seemed to be receiving, I learned to read right along with him. By the time he reached third grade and I started kindergarten, I was reading third grade books probably as well or better than he was and was being shown off by my mother for being able to do so to anybody who would listen.

Two books I remember fondly right up to this day, both hardcover, that my mother and brother read over and over or I chose to read myself was one about Hoover Dam showing how it was constructed, it's inner workings with row after row of power generators and one with pages of black and white line drawings of Da Vinci's flying machines. Why either of those two books or the contents therein would standout so much in my memory relative to any other books we may have read is not known.

To my knowledge I have never seen a copy of the Leonardo Da Vinci book with the black and white line drawings of his flying machines that so impressed me as the young boy that I was reading with my mother and older brother, at least not so that it jogged my memory, and I have searched book after book for years hoping for just that experience. However, such is not the case regarding a comic book I somehow must have read, saw, or came into contact with when I was a very young boy.That comic book was WAR HEROES, No. 4, April-June 1943 which carried within it's contents the following related to Da Vinci:



WAR HEROES, DELL PUBLISHING CO., NO. 4, APRIL-JUNE, 1943

Although at the time I may not have related the above to Leonardo Da Vinci I did relate it back to something else. One day, several years before, having not yet even reached school age, I was in the junk laden backyard workshop garage of the grandfather of the girl next door who used to babysit me like I often was. While there, I came across the following picture, below, in a publication of some kind the old man had been making a fuss over with a neighbor. The grandfather was big on Japanese invasion stuff, even to the point of monitoring shortwave radio all night long to having his own hand-cranked air raid siren. My dad was the air raid warden for our block while right along with him I was, albeit self ordained, a Junior Air Raid Warden, and even though I never quite got it, my dad and the old man didn't always see eye-to-eye regarding his constant false air raid warnings. In any case, I remember well the fuss between the neighbor and the grandfather involving the photograph. It was all about potential invasion, with the grandfather being adamant that "we should go to no ends to protect against invasion" and the neighbor not being in full agreement, even to the point of reaching a huge yelling match and the neighbor being thrown out of the shop because of being in league with the enemy.

Hearing all the commotion my my mother or grandmother came over and took me home and when I left, without realizing it, I still had the publication that had the photograph in it. At home all I did was look at it. Over and over I continued to look at the photo and all I could think about was a man with some kind of wing device designed to help make him fly.



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It was primarily because of the above that from a very young age I started to jump off one-story porches, garages, and roof tops with a bed sheet made into a parachute or flaring behind my back tied to my wrists and ankles a la the glider chute of Captain Midnight on more than one occasion, So too, without any knowledge of same thereof or parental approval either, I designed and built bat-like wings with cloth and sticks and attempted to fly, all before my uncle, who helped me in later years, showed up on the scene.



photo source David Heger

Within a few days of having read 500 Years Too Soon for the first time and approximately four or five years after the above event, one way or the other, I saw the 1947 Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movie titled Tarzan and the Huntress. No sooner had I seen it than my interest in Da Vinci flying machines exploded after watching the scene where Tarzan's son Boy builds a glider-type plane capable of flying and their chimp Cheetah, apparently gauging the glider's potential, steals it. Hanging on for dear life Cheetah jumps off some rocks and covers quite some distance before crashing into the trees. Haranguing my uncle over and over on the idea of flying in the same manner, he eventually laid out a life size drawing of a Da Vinci like craft on the floor of the studio and from there, together, we built an actual machine capable of flying while carrying a person, hopefully me, in flight.



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SO, DID LEONARDO DA VINCI FLY?


SO, DID THE WANDERLING FLY?



SEE ALSO:

EARLY FLYERS: FROM ICARUS TO LILIENTHAL


LEONARDO DA VINCI: 500 YEARS TO SOON


THE FLYING MACHINE: AMERICA 1948 AD


THE DA VINCI GLIDER CIRCA 1500 AD


LILIENTHAL GLIDER TYPE IX


FLYING FRONTIERSMAN


WASHOE ZEPHYR



THE BLACK CONDOR: THE MAN WHO COULD FLY LIKE A BIRD
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FLYING MACHINE OF DIEGO MARIN AGUILERA, FLOWN IN 1793
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THE FLYING MACHINE: CHINA 400 A.D

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THE DAISY HANDBOOK AND LEONARDO DA VINCI
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FLYING CAPTAIN MARVEL
ZEN AND THE ART OF FLYING MEN



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