A Japanese inventor has traveled to the birthplace of Leonardo DaVinci out of a desire to honor the legendary Italian designer with a series of demonstration flights of the world’s smallest helicopter, based on a concept of DaVinci’s.
The helicopter, which can carry exactly one person and reach speeds of 30 miles an hour, is already being sold on the open market as a sort of aerial scooter.
Gennai Yanagisawa, the 75-year-old inventor of the GEN H-4, takes his connection to the genius of renaissance lore very seriously. “I feel that I am greeting an ancestor” he says, speaking to the assembled press in Florence before the flight, noting that he hoped DaVinci would have been pleased to see a derivative of his design take flight after initially being conceived in 1493.
The GEN H-4, which only weighs 165 pounds, can climb 160 yards in the air, but will, on the 25th of May, stay intentionally low in three 10-minute demonstration flights so that the assembled crowds may get a good view of the machine as it swoops over them.
We’ll even throw in a free album.