Da Vinci flying machines tour the US

Two historic flying machines from the mind of Leonardo da Vinci are being shown in a travelling exhibition across the US.

Titled Leonardo da Vinci Machines in Motion, the expo is currently based in Nebraska, US, where it will run until May 9.

Created by scientists and crafts workers from da Vinci's native Florence, Italy, the exhibition promises a rare opportunity to see the Italian polymath's plans accurately realised.

The full-scale machines have been constructed using 15th century tools and materials, mostly wood, faithful to Da Vinci's original notebooks and ideas.

These ideas continue to inspire other great minds - including Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and billionaire, whose collection includes the coveted Codex Leicester.

Gates purchased Da Vinci's famous collection of works for a record £19m, which he then scanned and distributed digitally.

Codex Leicester
Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester, last bought for £19m (click to enlarge)

Da Vinci's legacy is such that, in 2009, a painting newly suspected to be authored by him was straightaway given a projected value of £100m.

Excitement surrounded the portrait, A Young Girl in Profile in Renaissance Dress, after a Paris laboratory claimed to have detected a Da Vinci fingerprint on its surface.

The painting was last sold in 1998, for $19,000.

Meanwhile, the Leonardo da Vinci Machines in Motion expo's next venue is the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, from May 29-Sept 6.

Otherwise, devotees of da Vinci can still pay a visit to his most iconic work, the Mona Lisa in Paris. The masterpiece helped draw 8.5m visitors to city's Louvre Museum in 2009.



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