The rotor-rotor aerodynamic interaction is one of the key phenomena that characterise the flow and the performance of most of the new urban air mobility vehicles (eVTOLs) developed in the recent years. The present article describes a numerical activity that aimed to the systematic study of the rotor-rotor aerodynamic interaction with application to the flight conditions typical of eVTOL aircraft. The activity considers the use of a novel mid-fidelity aerodynamic solver based on vortex particle method. In particular, numerical simulations were performed when considering two propellers both in side-by-side and tandem configuration with different separation distances. The results of numerical simulations showed a slight reduction of the propellers performance in side-by-side configuration, while a remarkable loss of thrust in the order of 40% and a reduction of about 20% of the propulsive efficiency were found in tandem configuration, particularly when the propeller disks are completely overlapped. Moreover, the flow field analysis enabled providing a detailed insight regarding the flow physics involved in such aerodynamic interactions.

Numerical Investigation of the Rotor-Rotor Aerodynamic Interaction for eVTOL Aircraft Configurations

Zanotti, Alex
2020-01-01

Abstract

The rotor-rotor aerodynamic interaction is one of the key phenomena that characterise the flow and the performance of most of the new urban air mobility vehicles (eVTOLs) developed in the recent years. The present article describes a numerical activity that aimed to the systematic study of the rotor-rotor aerodynamic interaction with application to the flight conditions typical of eVTOL aircraft. The activity considers the use of a novel mid-fidelity aerodynamic solver based on vortex particle method. In particular, numerical simulations were performed when considering two propellers both in side-by-side and tandem configuration with different separation distances. The results of numerical simulations showed a slight reduction of the propellers performance in side-by-side configuration, while a remarkable loss of thrust in the order of 40% and a reduction of about 20% of the propulsive efficiency were found in tandem configuration, particularly when the propeller disks are completely overlapped. Moreover, the flow field analysis enabled providing a detailed insight regarding the flow physics involved in such aerodynamic interactions.
2020
Computational fluid dynamics; EVTOL aircraft; Rotary-wing aerodynamics; Rotor interaction; Vortex particle method
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1152325
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