Validation and comparison of RANS propeller modeling methods for tip-mounted applications

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This paper examines the capability of a commercial RANS solver for the simulation of wingtip-mounted propellers. The applicability of actuator-disk and actuator-line models to reduce the cost of propeller modeling is investigated in its most accurate form, by extracting and applying propeller blade loading from full-blade simulations. The results obtained from all numerical simulations are validated based on measurement data from an in-house wind-tunnel experiment. An extensive grid dependency study is presented for the isolated propeller and the wing to distinguish discretization errors from model errors. It is concluded that RANS CFD with a simple one-equation turbulence model (Spalart–Allmaras) is capable of modeling the aerodynamic interactions for the wingtip-mounted propeller in tractor configuration, provided that numerical diffusion is accounted for by a grid dependency study or prevented by local grid refinement. The actuator-line model is fully able to replace propeller blade modeling in the simulation, and agreement with the full-blade simulations is found in time-accurate and time-average wing loading. The actuator-disk model further reduces the cost of the simulation by removing time dependency, at the cost of a small penalty in the accuracy of the time-averaged flowfield and lift distribution on the wing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781624105241
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2018 - Kissimmee, United States
Duration: 8 Jan 201812 Jan 2018


ConferenceAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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