Abstract A linear analytical model is developed for the chopping of a cylindrical vortex by a flat-plate airfoil, with or without a span-end effect. The major interest is the contribution of the tip–vortex produced by an upstream rotating blade in the rotor–rotor interaction noise mechanism of counter-rotating open rotors. Therefore the interaction is primarily addressed in an annular strip of limited spanwise extent bounding the impinged blade segment, and the unwrapped strip is described in Cartesian coordinates. The study also addresses the interaction of a propeller wake with a downstream wing or empennage. Cylindrical vortices are considered, for which the velocity field is expanded in two-dimensional gusts in the reference frame of the airfoil. For each gust the response of the airfoil is derived, first ignoring the effect of the span end, assimilating the airfoil to a rigid flat plate, with or without sweep. The corresponding unsteady lift acts as a distribution of acoustic dipoles, and the radiated sound is obtained from a radiation integral over the actual extent of the airfoil. In the case of tip–vortex interaction noise in CRORs the acoustic signature is determined for vortex trajectories passing beyond, exactly at and below the tip radius of the impinged blade segment, in a reference frame attached to the segment. In a second step the same problem is readdressed accounting for the effect of span end on the aerodynamic response of a blade tip. This is achieved through a composite two-directional Schwarzschild's technique. The modifications of the distributed unsteady lift and of the radiated sound are discussed. The chained source and radiation models provide physical insight into the mechanism of vortex chopping by a blade tip in free field. They allow assessing the acoustic benefit of clipping the rear rotor in a counter-rotating open-rotor architecture.