Fol. 5v

Codex on the Flight of Birds of Leonardo This entire page is devoted to the kite and his strategies for flying.
Leonardo describes the ways the bird is able to go higher or simply hover in the air, even for long periods of time.
He reflects on how it uses it wings, flapping energetically, to gain both altitude and speed, and describes the techniques the kite uses to find the air currents that carry it along.

«quando il vento non regna nell'aria, il nibbio batte più volte le ali in modo da levarsi in alto e acquistare velocità, grazie alla quale poi percorre lunghe distanze senza battere le ali, e quando è sceso fa la stessa cosa, e così successivamente; e utilizza la discesa senza battere le ali per riposarsi della fatica del precedente battimento d'ali»
(When there is no prevailing wind in the air, the kite beats its wings several times to rise on high and acquire speed, thanks to which it can travel long distances without flapping its wings, and when it goes back down it does the same thing, and so on in succession; it uses the descent without flapping to rest after the fatigue of the previous beatings of its wings.)

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