APIAN-INF: an aerodynamic and aeroacoustic investigation of pylon-interaction effects for pusher propellers

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Advanced propellers promise significant fuel-burn savings compared to turbofans. When installed on the fuselage in a pusher configuration, the propeller interacts with the wake of the supporting pylon. This paper presents an experimental analysis of the aerodynamic and aeroacoustic characteristics of this pylon–propeller interaction. An isolated propeller was operated in undisturbed flow and in the wake of an upstream pylon at the large low-speed facility of the German–Dutch wind tunnels (DNW-LLF). Measurements of the pylon-wake characteristics showed that the wake width and velocity deficit decreased with increasing thrust due to the suction of the propeller. The installation of the pylon led to a tonal noise penalty of up to 24 dB, resulting from the periodic blade-loading fluctuations caused by the wake encounter. The noise penalty peaked in the upstream direction and became increasingly prominent with decreasing propeller thrust setting, due to the associated reduction of the steady blade loads. The integral propeller performance was not significantly altered by the pylon-wake encounter process. However, at sideslip angles of ±6°, the effective advance ratio of the propeller was modified by the circumferential velocity components induced by the pylon tip vortex. The propeller performance improved when the direction of rotation of the propeller was opposite to that of the pylon tip vortex. Under this condition, a reduction was measured in the noise emissions due to a favorable superposition of the angular-inflow and pylon-wake effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-306
Number of pages16
JournalCEAS Aeronautical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jun 2017


  • Propulsion integration
  • Pusher propellers
  • Propeller noise
  • Pylon-installation effects


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