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Forlanini / Società Leonardo da Vinci Forlanini
Enrico Forlanini was born to Francesco Forlanini, a physician and director of the Ospedale Fatebenefratelli in Milan. After elementary school he attended one of the three Milan Regie Scuole Tecniche, in 1863 he entered the Military College of Turin.
In 1866 he enrolled at the Military Academy of Turin, and become a Lieutenant of Engineers. Enrico enrolled in the Scuola di Applicazione Artiglieria e Genio (Application School of Artillery and Engineers) in Turin in 1868.
Upon graduation in 1870, he was assigned to Casale Monferrato, where he was able to work in the police station's workshop. He began working on a systematic testing of propellers. He subsequently studied at Politecnico di Milano and graduated in Industrial Engineering.
In 1877, he developed an early helicopter powered by a steam engine. It was the first of its type that rose to a height of 13 meters, where it remained for some 20 seconds, after a vertical take-off from a park in Milan.
Later he designed and built a series of dirigibles, notably, designed in 1901 and launched in 1909, the Leonardo da Vinci that he dedicated to the Renaissance inventor and, in 1912, the Città di Milano, dedicated to his beloved home town. The latter showed exceptionally good characteristics of stability and controllability that won Forlanini international renown. A further four airships were constructed: F3, F4, F5 and F6. A seventh, named Omnia Dir was only completed after his death in 1930.
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