I did read the article. Me? Skip a Da Vinci article? I don't think so!
The design ends up being 180 pounds. Modern materials and techniques = another design. I wonder how much of the weight was the canvas? Because using the right wood - bamboo or a very straight-grained wood, split instead of cut, and just barely thick enough to survive the flight (don't worry about breaking on landing) could be very light.
But I also think that there is a very good chance of landing either entirely inside or entirely outside the 'chute, given low wind and a flat landing area. It just becomes an extra hazard that I wouldn't want to deal with, if I were the test pilot.
The part I found interesting is that, apparently, Leonardo calculated the size of the 'chute accurately.
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
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