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Notes wind tunnel rotorcraft testing

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Topics

Natural scale testing

Goals of the wind-tunnel testing

Aerodynamic similarity criteria

Models and measurement devices

Tests of the typical model rotorcraft

Summary

aerial vehicles

vehicles elements or subsystems

Scale

natural 1:1

reduced models

Aims of the research

test of operation of the existing objects or new concepts

design optimization

data acquisition for model validation

validation of theories or computation methods

Terminology:

Model reduced scale in the laboratory

Rotor natural scale in natural environment (not always NASA

Ames)

Usually to study existing design or to validate a modified vehicle or a

new concept

on the rotorcraft on the ground

on the whirl towers

in the wind-tunnels

The biggest wind tunnel in the world

NASA Ames Research Center

80 x 40 foot and 120 x 80 foot test sections

geting insight into physics of the phenomena

BVI (Blade Vortex Interaction)

interference between rotor and

objects on the ground

performance improvement of existing

vehicles

could be done in the natural scale, but using models is cheaper

oscillating airfoils

velocity distribution

lower cost

possible tests of hazardous states of flight

new designs testing (no need for permission from aviation authorities)

Technical difficulties

rotor design is complex and so is a model

necessity for blade pitch control

restrictions on the mechanical properties of the model resulting

from the similarity criteria

requirements for model durability and reliability

criterion of similarity relationship between parameters describing physical features of

the model and the rotor

AND

between results of the measurements on the model and on the rotor

modeling parameters physical quantities taken into account in the development of

the similarity numbers

measurement results obtained in studies of model usually does not transform directly

(with no conversion) to the natural conditions on the rotor

Criterions could be derived with

methods of dimensional analysis

analyzing loads developed in the tested phenomenon

from dimensionless equations of vehicle motion

In the case of rotorcraft it is necessary to simultaneously preserve the conditions of

similarity:

geometric (shape)

kinematic (couplings between various displacements)

aerodynamic

dynamic loads

elastic

damping

from the researcher

model scale (l < 1)

constant gravity g

working medium in the wind tunnel (usually air)

temperature of the working medium - density r and viscosity n

Geometric similarity

shape

blades (shape, twist, airfoil distribution)

rotorhub difficult because of different design solutions used in the model

Kinematic similarity

displacements

in rotorhub

in control of the blades pitch angles

similarity parameters:

linear distance (position or displacement) l

rotation (angular displacement) a

linear velocity V

angular velocity W

linear acceleration a

angular acceleration e

Aerodynamic similarity

preserving geometric and kinematic similarity

AND

working medium in the tunnel

inflow velocity

similarity parameters medium type and conditions in the tunnel

(not all the parameters are independent)

density r,

viscosity n,

pressure p,

temperature T,

speed of sound a.

Dynamic similarity

mass properties of blades and rotorhub

similarity parameters

velocities and accelerations (kinematic similarity)

gravitational acceleration g

quantities and distributions along blade:

mass m, m(x)

static moments (cg possition) S, s(x)

moments of inertia I, i(x)

elastic properties

blades, rotorhub deformable elements and control system strains

similarity parameters

rotorhub elastic elements stiffness,

control system stiffness K,

and distributions along the blade

bending stiffness EI(x) (two directions)

tortional stiffness GJ(x)

structural damping

damping in rotorhub hinges (?)

possible (?) only by miniaturization

structural damping estimated on the bases of resonance tests and included in

the results interpretation

Helicopter steady forward flight

similarity numbers:

flight speed coefficient m=VL/WR,

frequencies rate

w/W

Lock number

g=(rca0R4/I)

Froude number

Fr = V2/Rg

Reynolds number

Re = VR/n

Mach number

M = V/a

Helicopter steady forward flight

similarity parameters:

characteristic linear dimension rotor radius R,

angular speed rotor agular speed (nominal) W,

linear acceleration gravitational acceleration g,

medium density r

angular displacement rotation in the rotorhub hinge a,

linear velocity flight velocity V,

blades attachment stiffness K,

model motion relative to medium natural frequency w,

viscosity - n

speed of sound - a

distributions along the blade:

mass m(x) or blade density rL(x)

position of local cg s(x)

moments of inertia i(x)

bending stiffness EI(x)

tortional stiffness GJ(x)

Scale coefficient

model = rotor*scale l

constans: r, g, q, a

Numbers

Froude number

Mach number

Reynoldsa number

Time

Ma

l

l

l

Fr

l

l

l

Re

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

Kinematic parameters

Linear displacement

Linear velocity

Linear acceleration

Angular displacement

Angular rate, frequencies

Angular acceleration

Mechanical quantities

Forces: lift, mass, inertia

Moments of forces: aerodynamic, mass, elastic

Gravity

Gravity moment

Power

Rotor load

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

mass, weight

spanwise mass distribution

chordwise cg position

static moment

moment of inertia

moment of inertia spanwise distribution

stiffness EJ, GJ

stiffness spanwise distribution EJ, GJ

dynamic stress

static strain (gravity)

viscotic damping coefficient

Aeromechanical models

qualitative studies

difficulties in preserving the moments of fuselage inertia

Test stands

measured signals transfer mechanical or optical colectors, wireless

possibility for changing the inflow angle stand pitch and bank angle

blade pitch control swashplate devices

loads measureing equipment tensometer balance, torque measurement,

Rotorhubs

Blades

1. Determination of the research, scope and research program

a) test parameters quantities varied during the test in a controlled manner

b) test results quantities which are the goal of the tests

2. Preparation of the test object

a) determination of the similarity criterions (Ma, Re, Fr)

b) conversion of the mechanical properties of the test object to the properties of the

model

c) verification of the model properties

3. Preparation of the measurement and signal processing systems calibration of the

sensors

4. Tests according to the approved program

5. Results analysis and report preparation conversion of the results to the full scale

object

Mechanical properties verification

Blades: shape, airfoils, twist

Mass properties: mass, static moment, moments of inertia

Spanwise distributions: mass, cg chordwise position, static moments, moments of

inertia (blades divided into elements)

Mechanical properties verification

Elastic properties: tortional stiffness, bending stiffness in the plane of smaller

stiffness

Mechanical properties verification

Elastic properties: bending stiffness in the plane of greater

Rotorhub and control system elastic properties:

Mechanical properties verification

Blades natural frequancies

Calibration of sensors

ONERA

(Re number influence)

ILot

ONERA

Wspczynniki

obcie (m = 0.052, a w = -5 [deg])

Loads

coefficients

-4

-5

x 10

x 10

T ILHX4

F ILHX4

Cmx [1]

Cx [1]

T NACA

F NACA

F ILHX4 dTheta

2

0

0

10

12

-5

10

12

10

12

10

12

-5

x 10

x 10

-5

Cmy [1]

Cy [1]

-10

4

2

-15

0

10

12

-3

-4

x 10

x 10

12

Cmz [1]

CT [1]

15

10

5

10

8

6

4

2

0

0

8

0(0.7R) [deg]

10

12

8

0(0.7R) [deg]

Rotorhub deformations

Aerodynamic derivatives

Summary

vehicle complexity controlled and rotating

various aerodynamic phenomena

criterions of similarity

some modeling parameters are fixed

no direct reference to natural scale use of similarity

numbers

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