Date of Award

Winter 2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Oktay Baysal

Committee Member

Osama A. Kandil

Committee Member

Ali Beskok

Committee Member

Abdurrahman Hacioglu

Abstract

A framework is developed for the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses of a series of helicopter rotor flowfields in hover and in forward flight. The methodology is based on the unsteady solutions of the three-dimensional, compressible Navier-Stokes equations recast in a rotating frame of reference. The simulations are carried out by solving the developed mathematical model on hybrid meshes that aim to optimally exploit the benefits of both the structured and the unstructured grids around complex configurations. The computer code is prepared for parallel processing with distributed memory utilization in order to significantly reduce the computational time and the memory requirements.

The developed model and the simulation methodology are validated for single-rotor-in-hover flowfields by comparing the present results with the published experimental data. The predictive merit of different turbulence models for complex helicopter aerodynamics are tested extensively. All but the κ-ω and LES results demonstrate acceptable agreement with the experimental data. It was deemed best to use the one-equation Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model for the subsequent rotor flowfield computations.

First, the flowfield around a single rotor in forward flight is simulated. These time—accurate computations help to analyze an adverse effect of increasing the forward flight speed. A dissymmetry of the lift on the advancing and the retreating blades is observed for six different advance ratios. Since the coaxial rotor is proposed to mitigate the dissymmetry, it is selected as the next logical step of the present investigation.

The time—accurate simulations are successfully obtained for the flowfields generated by first a hovering then a forward-flying coaxial rotor. The results for the coaxial rotor in forward flight verify the aerodynamic balance proposed by the previously published advancing blade concept. The final set of analyses aims to investigate if the gap between the two rotors of the coaxial configuration has any significant effect on the generated forces. The present results indicate either little or no such effect on the lift.

DOI

10.25777/n6nw-ng82

ISBN

9781109566369

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