- "Have you ever watched a bird in flight? It's not about being lighter than air, it's about grace and balance. You must use your body's own weight to control your elevation and direction."
- ―Leonardo da Vinci describing the mechanics of the Flying Machine.[src]
Leonardo would go on to improve its design by adding an incendiary cannon onto its back, which could both be used to attack and start fires to keep the machine aloft. This Bomber was manufactured in bulk by the Borgia forces in Valnerina.
The first time Ezio caught a glimpse of the Flying Machine was when he went to help Leonardo fix the wheel of his carriage in the Appennine Mountains. After Ezio asked him what it was, Leonardo replied that it was just an idea, one that might be able to make a man fly. Ezio simply dismissed the thought with a laugh, and the two climbed into the wagon and set off.
Some time after arriving in Venice, Ezio and Antonio de Magianis attempted to find a way into the Palazzo Ducale, so as to save Doge Giovanni Mocenigo from assassination by the Templar Carlo Grimaldi. Upon stating with frustration that only birds could enter the heavily-guarded palazzo, Ezio remembered Leonardo's invention, and promptly left for his friend's workshop.
Initially, Leonardo thought that he would not be able to find someone crazy enough to test his machine, as it required them to jump off a tower; however, Ezio readily volunteered.
Their first attempt failed, as the Flying Machine was barely able to stay in flight for a few seconds, but Leonardo was still amazed that Ezio could even fly at all. After checking the design to see if the duration of the flight could be extended, Leonardo gave up and cursed the machine, throwing the plans for it into his fireplace.
However, this inspired Leonardo, as he saw the paper levitating above the fire, buoyed by the hot air. With this, he suspected that the Flying Machine could work in the same manner. As a result, Antonio de Magianis instructed his thieves to set up fires across the city, allowing Ezio to fly over them and successfully make his way to the palazzo.
After being forced into the service of the Borgia as an engineer, Leonardo significantly improved the design of the Flying Machine, alongside three other war machines. The new Flying Machine, called the Bomber, could then be used more aggressively, rather than just for travel. The fire cannon it bore also allowed it to travel over greater distances, without pre-set fires on the ground.
In order to weaken the Borgia forces, Ezio traveled to Valnerina to burn the plans for the Bomber, and destroy the working versions of it. After stealing one of the few working prototypes, Ezio proceeded to fly over and destroy every Borgia workshop, where the Bomber and various other weapons were being manufactured for their wars across Europe.
Ezio also used the machine to attack any wagons that attempted to bring salvaged materials from the workshops to the safety of the fortress, including a single mounted messenger who attempted to alert Cesare Borgia of the attack.
Finally, after ensuring that the design could not be used by the Borgia, Ezio crashed the machine he had been using into a wooden guard tower, destroying it completely.
When the woodworker Lance O'Donnell received plans from France for a folding chair, he was also given plans for Leonardo's Flying Machine. In his excitement, Lance built the device and Ratonhnhaké:ton chose to test it.
- Historically, it was said that one person (a pupil of Leonardo's) did fly the machine during the Renaissance, but ended up with a broken leg.
- The flying machine could be seen in the background of both of Leonardo's workshops.
- A guard in Venice referred to the Flying Machine as a "flying demon".
- After downloading the Battle of Forlì downloadable content for Assassin's Creed II, a "Special Memory" was added to the map of Forlì, where Ezio could use the Flying Machine at any time. This was likely added as another opportunity to gain the "Fly Swatter" achievement.
- Successfully using and destroying the Bomber granted the "Boom!" achievement.
- The model of the Flying Machine in the armory at the Tiber Island headquarters was not modelled after the Bomber in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, but after the original Flying Machine in Assassin's Creed II.
- A small model of the Flying Machine could be purchased as an avatar prop for Xbox 360 avatars.