by: George Redell [ ]
This kit is number 10 in the Academy Da Vinci Series. The Da Vinci Series is based on Leonardo da Vinci an Italian scientist and artist born in the Renaissance era. Academy has taken designs based on his drawings from the 1480’s to develop this series of kits. This kit is a replica of Da Vinci’s aerial screw design, a forerunner of a modern helicopter. Designs like this stimulated curiosity about the possibility of vertical flight.
The kit comes in a sturdy box with Leonardo da Vinci drawings in the background and a picture of the built up helicopter. Inside are 3 plastic bags that protected the parts of the kits. Bag one had 2 sprues that contained the majority of the parts need for the kit. Bag two included the wings and base. Bag 3 contained the motorized spring mechanism. Since this is a working model the plastic seems to be made of a harder plastic then the typical model kit. The mechanical parts are molded in a gun metal black color and the structural parts are a wood color. All the parts are well molded with no visible flash or flaws. This kit requires no paint or glue, and the only tool would be a sprue cutter. Instructions are the fold out type and have 6 clear and easy to follow steps.
Since this was an educational kit I gave my 12 year old son this kit to build and after looking everything over he started Step 1. Every part was easily cut off and the fits were very tight. I had to help with a few parts so he did not break them trying to fit them together. When installing the gears follow the instructions carefully so they are put in the right direction. I notice that my son installed a gear on the wrong side but this was easy fixed. The instructions did have one error. In Step 4 part B8 is labeled as B7 so there are two B7’s in the instruction. This is at the end of the build and there were only a few parts left on the sprue, so it was easy to find the correct part. Other than that everything went together very well.
Too operate the helicopter you move the gear locking lever in the “Lock” position, turn the spring mechanism clockwise and unlock the gear locking lever. The wings will spin and rotate up and down (see video to the right of this text).
This was a fun project for both my son and I. It took about a half hour to complete. The kit suggested age is 15 or older but with a little supervision I think this would be a fun kit for any child over 10. My son looked at the other Da Vinci kits on the box and asked when he could do another. I highly recommend it.