Unsteady loads for coaxial rotors in forward flight computed using a vortex particle method

Tan, J., Sun, Y. and Barakos, G. (2018) Unsteady loads for coaxial rotors in forward flight computed using a vortex particle method. Aeronautical Journal, 122(1251), pp. 693-714. (doi: 10.1017/aer.2018.8)

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Recent advances in coaxial rotor design have shown benefits of this configuration. Nevertheless, issues related to rotor-head drag, aerodynamic performance, wake interference, and vibration should also be considered. Simulating the unsteady aerodynamic loads for a coaxial rotor, including the aerodynamic interactions between rotors and rotor blades, is an essential part of analysing their vibration characteristics. In this article, an unsteady aerodynamic analysis based on a vortex particle method is presented. In this method, a reversed-flow model for the retreating side of the coaxial rotor is proposed based on an unsteady panel technique. To account for reversed flow, shedding a vortex from the leading edge is used rather than from the trailing edge. Moreover, vortex-blade aerodynamic interactions are accounted for. The model considers the unsteady pressure term induced on a blade by tip vortices of other blades, and thus accounts for the aerodynamic interaction between the rotors and its contribution to the unsteady airloads. Coupling the reversed-flow model and the vortex-blade aerodynamic interaction model with the viscous vortex-particle method is used to simulate the complex wake of the coaxial rotor. The unsteady aerodynamic loads on the X2 coaxial rotor are simulated in forward flight, and compared with the results of PRASADUM (Parallelized Rotorcraft Analysis for Simulation And Design, developed at the University of Maryland) and CFD/CSD computations with the OVERFLOW and the CREATE-AV Helios tools. The results of the present method agree with the results of the CFD/CSD method, and compare to it better than the PRASADUM solutions. Furthermore, the influence of the aerodynamic interaction between the coaxial rotors on the unsteady airloads, frequency, wake structure, induced flow, and force distributions are analysed. Additionally, the results are also compared against computations for a single-rotor case, simulated at similar conditions as the coaxial rotor. It is shown that the effect of tip vortex interaction plays a significant role in unsteady airloads of coaxial rotors at low speeds, while the rotor blade passing effect is obviously strengthened at high-speed.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barakos, Professor George and Tan, Mr Jianfeng
Authors: Tan, J., Sun, Y., and Barakos, G.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Journal Name:Aeronautical Journal
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):2059-6464
Published Online:21 March 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Royal Aeronautical Society
First Published:First published in Aeronautical Journal 122(1251):693-714
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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