Engineering method to estimate the blade loading of propellers in nonuniform flow

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15 Citations (Scopus)
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Advances in aerodynamic and propulsive efficiency of future aircraft can be achieved by strategic installation of propellers near the airframe. This paper presents a robust and computationally efficient engineering method to estimate the load distribution of a propeller operating in arbitrary nonuniform flow that is induced by the airframe and by different flight conditions. The time-resolved loading distribution is computed by determining the local blade section advance ratio and using the sensitivity distribution along the blade, which is a property of the propeller in isolated conditions. The method is applied to four representative validation cases by comparing to full-blade computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and experimental data. For the evaluated cases, it is shown that the changes in the propeller loads due to the nonuniform inflow are predicted with errors ranging from 0.5 up to 12% compared to the validation data. By extending the quasi-steady approach with a correction to account for unsteady effects, the time-resolved blade loading is also well approximated, without adding computational cost. The proposed method provided a time-resolved solution within several central processing unit seconds, which is seven orders of magnitude faster compared to full-blade CFD computations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5332-5346
Number of pages15
JournalAIAA Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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