Incredible as it may be, and despite the widespread recognition of Leonardo Da Vinci as the “father” of aerodynamics, nobody seems to have studied the aerodynamic efficiency of one of his more iconic designs: the aerial screw. I modelled the screw, and simulated Leonardo Da Vinci contraption using modern computational fluid dynamics (CFD, SimScale). As expected, the thrust is dramatically lower (at least 50 times less) than that of a modern propellers; nevertheless, it may be possible to lift a drone using sufficiently light and (slightly modified) aerial screws. The resulting (pataphysical) experiment is a small tribute to the genius of the man.


Alvaro Cassinelli