Leonardo Da Vinci was, without doubt, one of the greatest minds in human history who is often said to have been, scientifically at least, hundreds of years ahead of his time.
However, this seems to be an idea that grates on the modern day scientist who cannot dream of being compared to such a man or lauded in such a way. Therefore, the natural thing to do is to test the real scale of Da Vinci’s genius by attempting to transform his blueprints into working models using only the known resources of Leonardo’s time. The recreation of a hang glider style flying machine and a large crossbow is the aim of the group of engineers and in fairness, throughout, the engineers do their utmost to achieve this aim, constantly referring to Da Vinci’s name with reverence and the exalted status so often given.
The group sets about trying to turn, what may have been at the time, Da Vinci’s wildest dreams into a medieval reality without the use of the tools and machinery that would make such construction seem trivial to you or I. Call me cynical, but being a television programme, it was never going to be as easy as it could have been; there are the inevitable ‘unforeseen’ pitfalls that come with any documentary.
However, the team pulls through and, with varying degrees of success, seem satisfied to conclude that Da Vinci really was as remarkable as we already thought and deserves to be lavished with even more posthumous praise as a result of their discoveries. Unfortunately, those involved seem to have a greater opinion of the impact of the show than the reality, but to give it some credit, they make a valid point – Da Vinci was a genius, by any standards, and always deserves to be remembered as such.