Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 in Vinci, Italy. He was the illegitimate son of Ser Piero, a Florentine notary and landlord, but lived on the estate and was treated as a legitimate son.
In 1483, Leonardo da Vinci drew the first model of a helicopter. It did not look very much like our modern day “copter,” but the idea of what it could do was about the same.
Leonardo was an artist and sculptor. He was very interested in motion and movement and tried to show it in his art. In order to show movement, he found it helpful to study the way things moved. One subject he liked to study was birds and how they flew. He spent many hours watching the birds and examining the structure of their wings. He noticed how they cupped air with their wings and how the feathers helped hold the air. Through these studies, Leonardo began to understand how birds were able to fly.
Like many other men, Leonardo began to dream of the day when people would be able to fly. He designed a machine that used all the things he had learned about flight, and thus became the first model of a helicopter.
Poor Leonardo had only one problem, however. He had no way to give the necessary speed to his invention. You see, motors had not yet been invented and speed was an important part of the flying process. It would be another four hundred years before the engine was invented and another fifty years before it was put to the test in an airplane. Leonardo’s dream of a helicopter finally came to pass in 1936.
The Italian painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and scientist, Leonardo died on May 2, 1519, and was buried in the cloister of San Fiorentino in Amboise.
1. What is the author’s main point?
- a. The invention of the helicopter.
- b. Birds cup air with their wings and use feathers to help hold the air.
- c. An overview of one of Leonardo da Vinci’s many skills.
- d. Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452 and died in 1519.
2. The word problem in paragraph five could best be replaced by the word:
- a. dilemma
- b. mistake
- c. danger
- d. pain
3. The word it in paragraph two refers to:
- a. Leonardo da Vinci
- b. The first model helicopter
- c. 1483
- d. motion and movement
4. Which paragraph explains why Leonardo’s helicopter was not successful in his lifetime:
- a. paragraph 1
- b. paragraph 2
- c. paragraph 4
- d. paragraph 5
5. The word illegitimate in paragraph one is closest in meaning to:
- a. against the law or illegal
- b. not in correct usage
- c. incorrectly deduced; illogical
- d. born out of wedlock
6. The following sentence would best complete which paragraph? “Since then people have been living out Leonardo’s dream of flying.”
- a. paragraph 3
- b. paragraph 4
- c. paragraph 5
- d. paragraph 2
7. What was the main problem with Leonardo’s invention?
- a. motors were not yet invented
- b. the birds lost their feathers
- c. he was illegitimate
- d. he couldn’t draw
8. The word they in the third paragraph refers to:
- a. the feathers
- b. the birds
- c. the studies
- d. the wings
9. In what year was the first helicopter flown
- a. 1483
- b. 1452
- c. 1519
- d. 1936
10. What two things did birds have that Leonardo da Vinci noticed helped them to fly?
- a. wings and beaks
- b. feathers and talons
- c. wings and feathers
- d. cups and feathers
11. The word thus in the fourth paragraph could best be replaced by:
- a. Hence
- b. After
- c. Unsuitably
- d. Inappropriately