A Japanese man who developed the world’s smallest helicopter will take flight in the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci in tribute to the Renaissance genius’ original idea.Gennai Yanagisawa, 75, has said that a demonstration flight of his one-man helicopter is planned in the city of Vinci, near Florence, Italy, on 25th May, 2008.
Yanagisawa developed the GEN H-4 helicopter with rotors, a chair, footrest and handle bar in the late 1990s.
"The concept of my helicopter comes from Italy, and I’ve always wanted to fly it in da Vinci’s birthplace," Yanagisawa told a news agency from Japan’s central city of Matsumoto, where he runs an electronics equipment company.
"I’m very excited" he added.
Renaissance-era visionary da Vinci designed an "aerial screw" in the 1480s believed to be the first portrayal of a vertical-flight machine, according to Italy’s National Museum of Science and Technology.
The GEN H-4 has two rotors turning in opposite directions to maintain stability, and four engines that enables a 30-minute flight with a top speed of about 56 miles per hour.
Yanagisawa said Vinci Mayor Dario Parrini offered him an opportunity to fly his helicopter when the two met in the Italian city in February.
"Italian people seem to welcome my realizing of da Vinci’s idea in his birthplace," he said.
"I want to make my best flight so that I can live up to their expectations."
Although the 165-pound helicopter can ascend up to 165 yards, Yanagisawa said he will fly 16.5 feet above ground during his three, 10-minute demonstrations "so the audience can see me and enjoy the flight."Courtsey: DD NEWS