Daedalus


Daedalus was a sculptor, architect and inventor, a really strange personality between history and mythology. He designed the palace of Knossos and the Labyrinth with the mythical big Minotaur (finally stop ed by Theseus). But the most impressive that Daedalus did was the first flight with human power in Greek mythology, achieved by him and his son Icarus. Daedalus had built a pair of wings to escape from Crete (where he was working as a prisoner of king Minos) and return to Athens with his son. He finished the travel alone because his son flew too close to the sun and the wings were burnt (or the wax used to join them melt from the sun's heat)!

Daedalus was said to have made movable statues working with mercury in order to guard the Labyrinth. He also constructed movable wooden little dolls for the children of king Minos. He is probably the inventor of the wedge, the axe and the spirit level. Some Egyptian manuscripts mention a person like him to have been involved in some Egyptian designs, too.

Another myth mentions that his nephew Talos (same name with the robot, coincidence?) was helping him with his work and also invented the pair of compasses and the saw.

On 23 April 1988 a team of students from the M.I.T. managed to cover the distance from Crete to Santorini (118Km) with a human powered flying vehicle with a Greek champion bicyclist Kanellos Kanellopoulos as cyclist pilot, in 3 hours and 54 minutes.

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