The rational story that our unconscious keeps is full of winged beings such as dragons, hippogriffs, harpies and others. Among all of them, the Phoenix bird stands out; a bird with bright feathers and a long life that, as we know, is reborn from its own ashes. We also have the legend of Icarus, for whom his father, Daedalus, built wings to fly away from Crete. If we continue with the list, the angels of our mythological tradition also appear with wings on their backs, even in their satanic version.
With such fantasies, in the year 852, equipped with a canvas as a parachute, the Muslim scholar Abbas Ibn Firnás decided to emulate the birds and jumped into the void from the minaret of the Mosque of Córdoba. Not happy with the result, he kept experimenting and, twenty years later, he would repeat the feat armed with two cloth-covered wooden wings. His fall caused him to break his legs. And it is that the fantasy of some has no limits when it comes to reaching the birds.
To continue with the same, in the eleventh century, Eilmer de Malmesbury, a Benedictine monk from the English Malmesbury Abbey, absorbed by the legend of Icarus that he believed to be real, built wings adapting them to the arms with a wooden structure. And he jumped from the top of one of the towers of the abbey. He flapped his wings and after managing to stay airborne for a few seconds, he finally fell to the ground, breaking his legs.
Remember that the invention of the motorless aerodyne began when a wise Muslim, a resident of Córdoba, decided to imitate the birds by jumping from a tower of the mosque
The flexible wing (1948) created by Francis Rogallo (NASA) to recover space capsules, which was discarded in favor of parachutes.NASA
Around 1250, Roger Bacon carried out the first scientific studies about the flying machine. And towards the end of the 15th century, Leonardo da Vinci was inspired by the wings of bats to project his ornithopter; a machine that would be pedaled into the air; a whole waste of anticipatory imagination that, at the beginning of the 19th century, the Swiss Jakob Degen perfected and put into practice with a hydrogen balloon to help in elevation.
However, it will not be until the end of the 19th century when the bird man approaches its almost definitive version with the studies of Otto Lilienthal included in his book The flight of birds as the basis of aviation, a work that includes the observations made by Otto and his brother Gustav from the flight of the storks, a bird that seemed to have been created with the purpose of serving as a model for the human being when it comes to achieving the dream of flying, as Antonio Martínez Ron collects in his book Algo new in heaven (Criticism, 2022).
Determined to put his theories into practice, Otto made a series of models that served to imitate storks in their flight. With determination, Otto Lilienthal would become famous for moving downwind on cloth wings. In one of those flights, the wind changed course and Otto would plummet, receiving the final blow that would cause his death.
In these summer days and clear skies in which the most daring people dare to do flying sports, it must be remembered that the invention of the motorless aerodyne is the sum of a lot of daring and a lot of broken bones that started a good day in the one in which a wise Muslim, a resident of Córdoba, decided to imitate the flight of birds by jumping from a tower of the mosque.
From here, the years will become centuries until Francis Rogallo, a NASA engineer, arrived to develop the flexible wing that John Dickenson adapted in 1963 to become what we know today as a hang glider.
The Stone Ax is a section where Montero Glez, with a desire for prose, exercises his particular siege of scientific reality to show that science and art are complementary forms of knowledge.
You can follow MATERIA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.
#fly #heads #full #birds