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Our vehicle, a two-part flyer that is meant to traverse the harsh conditions of a volcano eruption, was inspired by master inventor and Renaissance man, Leonardo Da Vinci. We were drawn to his sketches and designs because he was truly ahead of his time. Therefore, it made sense that our futuristic plane based on the Cylon from Battlestar Galactica, with massive platoons, large boosters, and the capacity to hover over the lava, should be influenced by ideas conceived hundreds of years ago by Da Vinci. We also chose the historic location of Pompeii during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD as our particular setting because it is also a legendary and historic event/location. We thought these two elements would compliment and play off each other since the volcano presented the problem and Da Vinci’s designs helped inspire us to generate a solution.
Inspired by hovercrafts, spy planes, submersible cockpits, and the design techniques of Leonardo Da Vinci, the Pompeii flyer is a modular vehicle designed for exploration. A flying and hovering vehicle was chosen because it is the best way to stay safe and out of contact from the incredible heat of lava and ash. Specifically, the environment chosen was a volcanic eruption near ancient Pompeii. The vehicle is shown arriving at the scene of an ongoing eruption and navigating lava, ash, and ruins of buildings. The renderings are intended to be viewed in order, as the ship arrives, transitions, and detaches the pod. Leonardo Da Vinci’s scientific nature, gravitation toward nature, and obsession with complex, probably impossible mechanisms inspired the design. For example, the airfoils of the wings are very birdlike, but are reversed from a direction that would actually cause it to fly. Very few of Da Vinci’s inventions would actually function, and several of them are incorporated into the vehicle, including the pod’s screw-like blades.
When we made our project we decided to choose a volcano as a harsh environment and specifically we choose Pompeii as our location. Volcanoes are one of the harshest environments on the surface of the Earth and designing a vehicle that is capable of traversing one seemed a difficult and interesting task. While discussing the volcano, we were trying to figure out how the vehicle would transverse the environment and we decided on either having it fly or float on the lava. With this in mind, we choose a flying vehicle with pontoons on it to allow the ship to float and also to fly into the volcano. We pulled ideas from helicopters, hovercrafts, and especially from Sci-Fi movies such as Star-Trek and Battlestar Galactica. The Cylon Raider from Battlestar Galactica was the major influence on the fuselage of the main ship. Finally this vehicle was designed for Leonardo Di Vinci. With him in mind we decided on a helicopter as a pod using his famous helicopter design as an integral part. Since Di Vinci was both a loner and a man of extravagance, we made a large one-seat ship that reflected his personality and the fact that he was indeed before his time.
The Da Vinci inspired lava flyer, shown below arriving at an eruption at Pompeii:
I recreated what Dana and Phil made by sweeping curves along 2 rails to make a single continuous piece. The bumps on the fuselage are there because I did not create the rails for the fuselage in advance. When I did create rails in advance for the wings the result was much smoother, and redoing the fuselage in this way should fix the problem.