Fol. 8r

The flight of Leonardo The observation of flight in nature makes it possible for Leonardo to understand that certain manoeuvres, such as those just described, are fundamental for the future pilot and his safety.
Here the Codex takes on the semblance of a flight manual, with many recommendations concerning the positions to be maintained.

«se l'ala e la coda sarà troppo sopra al vento abbassa la metà dell'ala opposta e vi ricevi la forza del vento e si raddrizzerà.
E se l'ala e la coda fosse sotto il vento alza l'ala opposta e ti raddrizzerai a tuo piacimento purché questa ala che si leva non sia mai più obliqua che l'opposta.
E se l'ala e il petto sarà sopra al vento si abbassi la metà dell'ala opposta la quale sarà colpita dal vento e sospinta in alto e raddrizzerà l'uccello »

(If the wing and tail are too far above the wind, lower the half of the opposite wing and you will receive the force of the wind and straighten out.
And if the wing and the tail are beneath the wind, raise the opposite wing and you will straighten out as much as you like, as long as this raised wing is never slanted more than the one opposite.
And if the wing and the breast are above the wind, lower the half of the opposite wing, which will be struck by the wind and pushed up higher and will straighten out the bird.)

NOTE. For each page of Leonardo’s Codex we provide a brief summary, with the quotation of one that page’s most significant passages edited in modern Italian, with an English translation.

translation by Kim Williams