Monday, December 16, 2013

Leonardo Da Vinci's Aerial Screw

Completed Kit Leonardo Da Vinci Aerial Screw
Always on the lookout for possible visual aids for aviation history presentations I came across a kit for an “Aerial Screw”, a design that Leonardo Da Vinci had drawn up but never built.  Leonardo was a man of many talents especially for such famous paintings as the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. Born in 1452 his idea for a helicopter was way ahead of its time considering the first successful man carrying helicopters did not fly until the 1940’s.

Parts for the Kit

The kit is produced by the Pathfinders company in Canada along with many other wood kits. I was really impressed how well the parts were cut out from wood with a smooth finish and no sanding marks or laser burns.  For me the instructions were pretty good but dimensions are in centimeters so a ruler with metric scale is needed.  Working over the Thanksgiving holiday I had the kit assembled within three days using the white glue that is provided with the kit.

Turning a crank the upper screw part of the model turns.  Leonardo thought that four men could be turning cranks to produce enough thrust to lift a full-size Aerial Screw. We know now that would be possible.

Very short video of cranking the Aerial Screw:

Bill Kuhl


  1. I bought this kit at my church's thrift store. When I got it home I found there was no Instruction Manual. Can I possibly get a copy of yours?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Liz if I can find the instructions I will certainly send them to you but I might have tossed the instructions.