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Paddle-wheeled boat propulsion system

Barca con propulsione a ruote

Leonardo's studies of a boat's propulsion system operated through man-powered paddle-wheels include this machine. In this design, the men who were to provide the energy required were accommodated below deck. Here they actuated ropes that operated the big central drum which, in turn, meshed with the paddles' axle via a pinwheel, thus propelling the boat. Leonardo was well aware that the system could not have worked exactly as designed - the paddles would have turned in the opposite direction to each other - and that another mechanism was needed.

Codex Atlanticus, sheet 945 r.


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