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 [https://alvarocassinelli.com/aerodynamics-of-leonardo-da-vincis-aerial-screw/]
- The analogue notebook: A forgotten exercise?, in Leonardo da Vinci, Art & Science Then & Now, I. Frank & A. Rocca Ed.,  ISBN 978-962-442-436-2
- “The analogue notebook: A forgotten exercise?” Cassinelli, Alvaro (Artist). Leonardo da Vinci, Art & Science Then & Now. Curated by I. Frank and A. Rocca, Assoc. Curators: J. Shaw and N.Patrzynski, Indra and Harry Banga Gallery, City University of Hong Kong. 20 September – 15 December 2019.