Friday, July 11, 2008

History of Flight II

It is only in the 15th century that we pass from the realm of mythology to that of fact in the person of Leonardo da Vinci. He was a genius who concluded that man could fly with suitable wings based on his study of flights of birds. He, however, was more interested in the theory of flying rather than actual application of his ideas. But it is reported that a follower of his did construct ribbed wings with which he was able to undertake some successful glides. However, like most pioneers his experiments came to an end with a crash. Italian set of 1932 depicts his flying machine and the 3l stamps shows his protrait.

Tere have been numerous experiments in flying from the time of Leonardo da Vinci but none have found a place in the stamp album. The exception is Friar Bartholomew de Guzmao, who flourished in early 18th century in Portugal. However, his designs were more in his imagination than reality. He can be seen on the 200 reis stamp issed by Brazil in 1929. The 50 reis stamp depicts his monument.

Portugal honoured him on a 1983 stamp along with Mongolfier, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the conquest of flight.

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