Revolutionary Flight Vehicle Based on Leonardo da Vinci Aerial Screw: A Paradigm Shift in VTOL Technology

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Aerial screws are rotors that consist of continuous large solidity single surface blades, which are able to provide significant thrust and control authority at increased power consumption when compared to traditional rotor blades. By leveraging a unique bound tip vortex, also observed in delta-wings, aerial screws are able to attain figure of merit values nearing 0.7 or higher, comparable to a modern rotorcraft. To prove the function of aerial screws, physical models were fabricated and flight tested. The primary objective of this paper is to explore the performance of a 6-in (0.152 m) diameter aerial screw and compare its performance with a 6-in (0.152 m) diameter traditional rotor, to demonstrate its feasibility in a quadrotor configuration and to show its efficiency as determined in the student designs from the 2019-2020 VFS student design competition.