The astounding inventions of Leonardo da Vinci at the Chateau du Clos Lucé

Tank, catapult, flying machine... The genius of Leonardo da Vinci comes to life at the Chateau du Clos Lucé, in the Loire Valley, where scale models of some of his most incredible machines are unveiled. Ten inventions, each as eccentric and crazy as each other, can be experimented with in a novel way at this 3D virtual animation exhibition held in partnership with Dassault Systèmes.

The aerial screw

This screw, made of linen stretched around wire, is none other than the ancestor of the modern helicopter. The rotation is manually activated by turning the wooden cranks around a central axis.

The articulated glider

It is undoubtedly the most famous and craziest invention of Leonardo da Vinci, for whom human flight was a real obsession. To design this machine, he fanatically observed birds and bats in flight.

The tank

This is one of the most iconic inventions of the Italian master. Under a turtle-shaped shell, with well-placed openings, there are thirty guns ready to create havoc!

The catapult

Whilst in the service of Ludovic Sforza, Duke of Milan, Leonardo da Vinci conceived a number of formidable war machines, including this catapult.

The odometer

Behind this somewhat unwieldy name is actually the ancestor of our measuring wheel. At each turn of the wheel on this barrow, a clever mechanism drops a pebble into a basket. At the end, you simply count the number of pebbles to calculate the distance travelled.

The mechanical drum

The Maestro's inventions also touch on the musical arts with this instrument, possibly designed to be used at street parties but more likely for military parades.

Chateau du Clos Lucé in the Loire Valley