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Momentum Theory

We saw that the helicopters rotor


provides three basic functions:
Generation of Lift
Generation of propulsive force for forward
flight
Generates forces to control attitude and
position
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 1

Momentum Theory
The helicopter must be able to operate in a
variety of flow regimes:

Hover
Climb
Descend
Forward flight
Backward flight
Any flight regime that is a combination of the
above

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 2

Momentum Theory
The main goal of the helicopter is its ability to
HOVER
Hover is also the simplest of the flight regimes, so
it should be the easiest to model
Although its the simplest flight regime it is still
complicated enough.

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 3

Momentum Theory
Lets simplify our first approach and develop a
simple method capable of predicting the rotor
thrust and power
Momentum Theory
First developed by Rankine (1895) for marine
propellers and developed further and generalized
by several other authors
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 4

Assumptions
Conditions in hover:

No forward speed
No vertical speed
The flow field is axisymetrical
There is a wake boundary with the flow outside this
boundary being quiescent
The flow velocities inside this boundary can be quite
high

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 5

Assumptions
Momentum theory concerns itself with the global
balance of mass, momentum, and energy.
It does not concern itself with details of the flow
around the blades.
It gives a good representation of what is
happening from a view far away from the rotor.
This theory makes a number of simplifying
assumptions.
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 6

Assumptions
Rotor is modeled as an actuator disk which adds
momentum and energy to the flow.
Flow is incompressible.
Flow is steady, inviscid, irrotational.
Flow is one-dimensional, and uniform through the
rotor disk, and in the far wake.
There is no swirl in the wake.

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 7

Representation and notation

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 8

Conservation of Mass
Air inflow trough control surface 0:

There is no inflow/outflow through the side boundaries:

Airflow trough control surface

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 9

Conservation of Mass through the rotor


disk
Air inflow trough the rotor disk control surface 1:

Air inflow trough the rotor disk control surface 2:

Since the two surfaces (A1=A2=A) are equal:

There is no velocity jump across the rotor disk. vi is the


induced velocity at the rotor disk.
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 10

Hover conditions
In hover Vc0:
The velocity at station 0 is 0
The velocity at the rotor is the induced velocity at the
rotor vi
The velocity at the far field is the induced velocity at
the far field w

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 11

Momentum and energy equations


The momentum rate of change is equal to the applied
force:
The work done per unit time (power) done by the rotor is
equal to the energy rate of change
Eliminating

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 12

Conservation of Mass through the


rotor disk
At control surface 1:

At control surface

And:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 13

Conservation of Mass

We can reach the conclusion that:

The far wake induce velocity is twice the induce


velocity at the disk
The far wake area is half the rotor disk area
In reality

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 14

Bernoulli equation
Consider a particle that goes from Station 0
to station
We can apply Bernoulli equation between:

vh

Stations 0 and 1,
Stations 2 and .

Recall assumptions that the flow is steady,


irrotational, inviscid.

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 15

Bernoulli equation
From the previous expressions we have:
p

Disc

Flow field

p
Pressure

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

w
Velocity
Slide 16

Induced Velocity at the rotor disk


We can now compute the induced velocity at the
rotor disk in terms of the thrust T
and

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 17

Induced Velocity at the rotor disk


And the following expression can be obtained:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 18

Ideal Power
Power consumed=Energy rate flow out-Energy
rate flow in

So:
Or in terms of the induced velocity:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 19

Disk Loading
Disk loading is defined as the ratio of the thrust by
the disk area:
The expression of the induced velocity at the rotor
can then be expressed in terms of the disk loading:

Remember that in hover T=W


Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 20

Power Loading
Power Loading is defined as:
On the other hand the induced velocity at the rotor
can be obtained from:

We can then write:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 21

Induced inflow ratio


The induced velocity at the rotor can be expressed
in the following manner:
h is called the induced inflow ratio
For rotating-wing aircraft it is the convention to
nondimensionalize all velocities by the blade tip
speed in hover

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 22

Thrust coefficient
Since the convention is to nondimensionalize the
velocities by the blade tip speed, we can define
the thrust coefficient:

The inflow ratio can then be expressed

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 23

Power coefficient
The rotor power coefficient is defined as:

Since the power is related to the rotor shaft torque


by P=Q and the rotor shaft torque is defined by:

We can conclude that CP=CQ


Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 24

Thrust and power coefficient


The two coefficient can be related using the
momentum theory.

Therefore

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 25

Figure merit
All the previous expression were calculated for an
ideal rotor in an ideal fluid
There is the necessity to calculate the rotor
efficiency
In 1940 Prewitt of Kellett Aircraft introduce the
Figure of Merit

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 26

Figure of Merit
The ideal power is calculated
momentum theory so we can write

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

using

the

Slide 27

Figure of merit
Because a helicopter spends considerable portions
of time in hover, designers attempt to optimize the
rotor for hover (FM~0.8).
A rotor with a lower figure of merit (FM~0.6) is
not necessarily a bad rotor. It has simply been
optimized for other conditions (e.g. high speed
forward flight).

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 28

Non Ideal effects


Until now we have considered ideal situation
We did not take into account situations like:

Non-uniform inflow
Tip losses
Wake swirl
Non ideal wake contraction
Finite number of blades

We can then take into account these factors and


compute more accurately the necessary rotor
power
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 29

Non Ideal effects


First lets correct the power coefficient using a
correction factor (induced power coefficient):

Where is the induced power correction factor


Typical value of is 1.15

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 30

Non Ideal effects


Secondly lets take into account the blade drag:
D is the drag per unit span
Nb is the number of blades
y is the blade element distance to the rotor hub

The power necessary to overcame the blade drag


is:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 31

Non Ideal effects


The drag force per unit span can be obtained using
the drag coefficient of the section profile

It is assumed that:
Cd0 is independent of Re and M
The blade is not tapered or twisted

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 32

Non Ideal effects


The profile power is:

With its associated power coefficient

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 33

Non Ideal effects


The rotor solidity is defined as:

With typical values of 0.07 to 0.12

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 34

Non Ideal effects


The actual rotor power can then be expressed as:

Using the modified form of the momentum theory


with the non ideal approximation for power the
rotor figure of merit can be written as:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 35

Induced Tip losses


R

BR

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

A portion of the
rotor near the tip
does not produce
much lift due to the
leakage of air from
the bottom of the
disk to the top
We can account for
it by using a smaller
modified radius BR

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 36

Induced Tip losses


So the effective blade radius Re that produces lift
is smaller than the blade radius R:

Where B<1. The effective rotor disk area is:

Which is smaller the the actual rotor disk are by


a factor of B2.
Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 37

Induced Tip losses


There are several propositions to calculate the
factor B:
Prandtl theory

Helicopters Rotor approximation


Since i (inflow ratio) is small and in hover related to CT

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 38

Induced Tip losses


Empirical geometric calculations:
Gessow & Meyers
c is the tip chord

Sissingh
c0 is the root chord and r is the blade tapper ratio

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 39

Blade Loading Coefficient


The blade loading coefficient is defined as:

Where Ab is area of the all the blades

The maximum realizable value is about 0.12 due


to the occurrence of blade stall

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 40

Power Coefficient
We have defined power loading as:

Since
T depends on (R)2
P depends on (R)3

To maximize PL R should be minimum

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 41

Power Coefficient
We have already reach to the relations:

Using the modified momentum theory:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 42

Power Coefficient
We can also write:

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 43

Power Coefficient
Or alternatively:

That is

Helicopters / Filipe Szolnoky Cunha

Momentum Theory in Hover

Slide 44