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Leonardo’s Dream Machines

The world’s leading experts boldly attempt to build, for the first time ever, two of Leonardo da Vinci’s machines to the exact specifications that he designed 500 years ago.

Programme 1 follows the building of a giant crossbow, with arms nearly 80 feet wide and 50 feet long. This two-part special reveals whether the inventor's ideas were flights of fancy or revolutionary designs hundreds of years ahead of their time.

Leonardo's crossbowLeonardo's crossbow, a massive timber war machine

The timber engineering division of Carpenter Oak & Woodland was approached to build this incredible structure because of their proven expertise in the field and perhaps they appeared to have cornered the market in building medieval war machines!  Collaborating with other experts the team had just three months to construct the crossbow.

Leonardo CrossbowConstructing Leonardo's crossbow

The programme covers some of the historical background leading up to the manufacture of the catapult in our English timber-framing yard and on to its successful firing on site.

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