Leonardo da Vinci notebook on flight heads to Smithsonian

A page from a 1505 notebook created by Leonardo da Vinci, in which he explored the mechanics of flight.
(Smithsonian Institution Libraries / Associated Press)

Leonardo da Vinci explored the possibility of human flight centuries before the Wright brothers made it a reality. A notebook that the Renaissance artist created on the subject will be making a rare trip to the U.S. in an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum in September.

“Codex on the Flight of Birds” -- which experts believe the artist created to study avian flight in order to better understand its mechanics -- will be on exhibit in Washington from Sept. 13 to Oct. 22.

The Smithsonian said the Codex will be displayed near the Wright brothers’ 1903 aircraft, and will be supplemented by an interactive digital display that will allow visitors to virtually browse the notebook.


CRITICS’ PICKS: What to see, eat and do

The Codex is believed to have been created in 1505 and features the artist’s traditional backward writing that was intended to be read in a mirror.

Italy’s Biblioteca Reale in Turin is loaning the notebook to the Smithsonian for the exhibit.

The Smithsonian has created a video introduction to the Codex that includes up-close images of pages from the notebook.


Did Leonardo da Vinci paint ‘Salvator Mundi’?

Getty Museum denies interest in Leonardo da Vinci painting

Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Codex Arundel’ digitized for online viewing