Da Vinci’s Dream: The Secrets of Flight

By studying the flight of insects and birds, scientists hope to create the next generation of efficient bio-inspired flying machine. Like the famous inventions of Leonardo da Vinci, they are reimagining new ways of flight.

Animal flight is one of the most complex tasks that evolution has ever managed to achieve. It has been a source of fascination for humankind since antiquity. Leonardo da Vinci drew inspiration from nature to design the first flying machines. Unfortunately, they would never take flight.

Today palaeontologists and biologists are rewriting entire pages of the history of life on earth, thanks to their discoveries regarding the first flying insects, and how the theropod dinosaurs’ transformed into birds.

From pterosaur’s ultra-light bones to corvid’s anti-turbulence feathers, nature has developed an extensive set of solutions for efficient flying. Physicists and biomechanists are decoding the aerodynamics of flying animals. Based on this new research, engineers and roboticists are working on building tomorrow’s bio-inspired drones and airplanes.

Thanks to 21st-century scientists, Leonardo’s dream is becoming a reality: deciphering nature’s art of flight to create fantastic flying machines.


  • Year: 2024
  • Duration: 58 mins
  • Production: Magneto Presse
  • Director: Clément Champiat
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France