Top 5 Da Vinci inventions that were ahead of their time


Leonardo Da Vinci was not only an incredible artist who created such works as ‘The Mona Lisa’ and ‘The Last Supper’ but he was also a great inventor. Let’s look at five of his designs that the society of his time was not ready for yet:

Flying machine

Da Vinci was really passionate about the idea of making people fly. One of his most famous inventions is the flying machine, as he called it, or an ornithopter. Basing it on the body structure of birds and bats Da Vinci made his design as close to a flying human as possible: it featured a wooden frame with wings attached to it and a person was supposed to lie down on his stomach and literally fly. Although he never managed to build this machine it was still a first step towards creating planes and helicopters in the future.

Diving suit

A lot of people have thought of creating a suit that will allow humans to breath underwater but Leonardo Da Vinci was the first one who made an advanced and thought-out design. It featured a jacket, pants and a mask with built-in glass goggles. The jacket also contained a few pockets for a knife and even a little horn so the diver could signal others when he needs to go up.

Armoured car

Leonardo da Vinci created quite a lot of various military equipment and one of them was a tank prototype. It looked like a round carriage, powered by humans and covered with metal sheets with little slits big enough to put a rifle through. It could potentially allow soldiers to safely fire guns at their opponents without being affected by their fire. And again, this machine was never built and remained as a design on paper until a first armoured tank was designed 400 years later.

Mechanical knight



The era of robotics is only coming to reality nowadays and back in the 15th-16th century should’ve not even been thought of. But not when it comes to such incredible mind as Da Vinci. Using an anatomic drawing of a human body he designed a ‘Mechanical Knight’ that could move its arms, neck and open its mouth. That would’ve become possible by inserting gears and pulleys inside the metal guy and controlling it externally with cables. NASA researcher Mark Rosheim constructed a replica in 2002.

Machine gun

Apart from the armoured car Da vinci also created a machine gun, which served as a prototype for modern day weapons. It was a 10-barreled gun and once one barrel was shot the gunner would move to the next one while someone else would reload the first one. Since this machine was, again, never constructed, we are guessing Da Vinci’s designs were indeed ahead of his time.

SEE ALSO: 5 great inventors you have never heard of


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