Emanuel Swedenborg
1688 - 1772

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Emanuel Swedenborg

Swedenborg's Daedalian (front on right) - A Machine For Flying - 1714

Emanuel Swedenborg was a theologian and a philosopher whose life and work left a profound legacy in those fields. Here, however, it is Swedenborg's Daedalian which deserves our attention. This "Machine For Flying" was a remarkable aeronautical design for its time, featuring wheeled landing gear, a concave lifting surface (curved in both length and width), a central location for the operator and beating blades for propulsion. There is even an indication that a means of control was sought, through the manipulation of the propulsive blades. Considering the state of knowledge and the absolute dominance of balloons at this point in aerial matters, Swedenborg's design, rough and naive as it is, stands as a testament to his ability.