It is extremely difficult to create a mechanical replica of the natural movement of an animal. The beating of the dragonfly's four wings is particularly complex and Da Vinci was well aware of how difficult it would be to create this machine; he himself described it in great detail. It is not simply wings beating up and down; it's a jointed motion. While beating down, the wings are "flat" in order to push as much air as possible, whereas when they are raised, they are angled so they create less resistance.
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