Model for Sectional Leading-Edge Vortex Lift for the Prediction of Rotating Samara Seeds Performance

Djamel Rezgui, Ignacio Hernandez Arroyo, Raf Theunissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
160 Downloads (Pure)


This article presents a development of a simple analytical aerodynamic model capable of describing the effect of Leading-Edge Vortices (LEVs) on the lift of rotating samara wings. This analytical model is based on the adaptation of Polhamus’ method to develop a sectional two-dimensional lift function, which was implemented in a numerical blade element model (BEM) of a rotating samara blade. Furthermore, wind tunnel experiments were conducted to validate the numerical BEM and to assess the validity of the newly developed analytical lift function. The results showed good agreement between the numerical model and the experimental measurements of rotational speed and rate of descent of the samara wing. The results were also compared with numerical predictions using BEM but adopting different lift coefficient expressions available in literature. This research contributed towards efficient aerodynamic modelling of the lift generated by LEVs on rotating samara wings for performance prediction, which could potentially be used in the design of bio-inspired rotary micro-air vehicles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalAeronautical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2020


  • samara
  • leading edge vortex
  • autorotating
  • Polhamus
  • blade element model


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