Light gyroplane empennage design considerations

Houston, S. (2011) Light gyroplane empennage design considerations. Aeronautical Journal, 115(1170), pp. 505-511.

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The light gyroplane is a class of aircraft popular with amateur constructors and pilots. As a result, there is limited design guidance available since formal technical resources are not available to the community. Rule-of-thumb, intuition and historical experience tend to influence design evolution. Empennage configuration is a prime example of this paradigm, and the objective of this Paper is to explore those factors that influence horizontal stabiliser effectiveness with particular reference to dynamic stability. An individual-blade rotorcraft mathematical model is coupled with a vorticity-based flowfield code, necessary to capture the highly interactional aerodynamics associated with empennage location at the rear of the airframe. A parametric study of horizontal stabiliser location shows that maximum benefit from the energising influence of the propeller slipstream is obtained if the surface is placed near the edge of the propeller wake. Further, traditional design parameters such as tail volume ratio offer an incomplete indicator of empennage effectiveness without consideration of airframe blockage and propeller slipstream. It is concluded that empennage sizing calculations can be straightforward, but require due consideration of the impact of the close-coupled nature of the vehicle on stabilising surface aerodynamic effectiveness.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Houston, Dr Stewart
Authors: Houston, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Journal Name:Aeronautical Journal
Publisher:Royal Aeronautical Society

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