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Contra‐rotating propeller for fixed wing MAV

Contra‐rotating propeller for fixed wing MAV

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Jacek Mieloszyk, Cezary Galiński and Janusz Piechna

The Institute of Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland

Abstract

Purpose – This is the first of two companion papers presenting the results of research into a contra-rotating propeller designed to drive a super

manoeuvrable micro air vehicle (MAV). The purpose of this first paper is to describe the design process and numerical analyses. The second paper is

devoted to the experimental results verifying the computations.

Design/methodology/approach – Software based on the analytical formulas derived by Theodore Theodorsen was used in the design procedure.

Three-dimensional finite-volume simulation, performed with the use of commercial software verified the results. Finally, two-dimensional simulation

was conducted to explore the effect of the propeller-wing interaction. The meshes applied in these analyses are described.

Findings – Propeller geometry received as a result of the design procedure is presented. The computation results for different turbulence models applied

are discussed. Time dependent characteristics of contra-rotating propeller are presented as well as conclusions regarding propeller-wing interaction.

Research limitations/implications – Propeller was designed for a fixed wing aeroplane, not for helicopter rotor. Therefore, conditions characteristic

for fixed wing aeroplane flight are analysed only. Reynolds numbers below 50000 are considered.

Practical implications – Designed contra-rotating propeller can be used in fixed wing aeroplane if torque equal to zero is required. Software based on

the formulas derived by T. Theodorsen can be used to design the propellers.

Originality/value – Software applied in the design procedure was originally developed by one of authors although it is based on the formulas derived

by T. Theodorsen. Contra-rotating propeller simulation results for different turbulence models are discussed for the first time. Moreover, unique time

dependent characteristics of contra-rotating propeller are presented.

Keywords Aircraft engineering, Aeroplanes, Propeller-driven aircraft, Design, Turbulence, Super-manoeuvrable MAV, Contra-rotating propeller,

Computational fluid dynamics

at very high angles of attack. It was assumed that a highly

A micro air vehicle (MAV) is defined here as a small (storable in manoeuvrable MAV could be stable in the turbulent air,

0.5 £ 0.5 £ 0.1 m container), light (takeoff mass smaller than provided that it was equipped with an autopilot fast enough.

1 kg), simple and inexpensive unmanned flying vehicle for direct, Unfortunately, in the literature one could find the data for

over the hill reconnaissance (3 km of operational radius). The relatively high Reynolds number regimes, as compared to those

attention is focused on fixed wing, forward thrust airplane since emerging in MAVs. Therefore, at the end of the project a simple

the capability to negotiate strong opposing winds is required experiment was undertaken to measure the effect of Leading

(wind velocity up to 15 m/s, gust velocity up to 7.5 m/s). The Edge eXtension (LEX) on the MAV characteristics in a

capability of maintaining a slow flight is also desirable. propulsion-less configuration. The result was positive

Several prototypes of fixed wing MAV have been built (Figure 1), but the integration with the propulsion system was

(Morris, 1997; Bovais et al., 2003; Grasmeyer and Keennon, not straightforward.

2001). They achieved a good performance in view of their range The propeller propulsion seems to be the most suitable for a

and endurance. However, they suffer from the turbulence of a fixed wing MAV. The propeller situated at the vehicle front

near earth boundary layer, that generates high variations in the would decrease the angle of attack locally, thus eliminating the

angle of attack, as explained in Watkins et al. (2006). A possible effect of leading edge vortex. On the other hand, a pusher

solution to this problem was noted in the course of the project configuration would be dangerous for hand launching, as direct

described in Galiński et al. (2003), when one of the tested MAV contact of the propeller with the hand of the launching person,

configurations revealed the presence of leading edge vortex. could cause injuries, as well as damages to the airplane.

The leading edge vortex is a well-known phenomenon Therefore, an airplane configuration, with the propeller located

(Polhamus, 1966; Lamar, 1998), that allows for performance in the slot inside of the wing contour, was developed (Figure 3).

In this configuration, the propeller blows directly onto the

The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at control surfaces, which is regarded as an additional advantage,

www.emeraldinsight.com/1748-8842.htm almost equivalent to the thrust vectoring of a modern fighter

airplane.

85/4 (2013) 304– 315 This work was supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher

q Emerald Group Publishing Limited [ISSN 1748-8842] Education under grant No. O N509 025836. Special thanks for Ewa

[DOI 10.1108/AEAT-Jan-2012-0008] Dźwiarek who helped to improve the language of this paper.

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Contra-rotating propeller for fixed wing MAV: part 1 Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal

Jacek Mieloszyk, Cezary Galiński and Janusz Piechna Volume 85 · Number 4 · 2013 · 304 –315

Figure 1 Initial measurements of the lift generated by the delta wing The flight-testing is an ultimate method for verifying results,

MAV in a clean configuration and with the LEX attached therefore the flight tests were undertaken to prove the quality

of the developed configuration (Galiński, 2006). Figure 3

1.5 shows the test vehicle. It has a wing span of 450 mm, wing

with LEX

area of 0.1 m2, aspect ratio 2 weight of 260 g and maximum

clean airspeed of 25 m/s.

The results appeared again to be better than expected

(Figure 4), however some problems were also found. Over-

sensitivity due to the propeller torque was discovered, which

1.0 forced the remote pilot to trim the airplane after each motor

throttle setting change. This over-sensitivity was a disadvantage,

since the autopilot could be overloaded. Therefore, it was decided

CL [ ]

Figure 3 View of the MAV showing the batteries and avionic bays with

the power plant controller and the data acquisition system

0.5

LEX

0.0

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

AoA [ ° ]

the

described in Galiński et al. (2004), to investigate the co- propeller in

operation between the leading edge vortex and propeller the slot

stream. The results were positive (Figure 2) since a greater lift

coefficient was achieved in a wide range of the angles of

attack. The effect is partially due to the air velocity increase

caused by the propeller operation. Wind tunnel airspeed was

used to calculate lift coefficient from the lift force. A greater Source: Photo. Jaros³aw Hajduk

real air velocity on the wing, resulted in a greater maximum

lift coefficient and a higher stall angle.

Figure 4 Load factors normal to the lifting surface

pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

Figure 2 Lift generated by the cranked delta wing MAV in motor nn ¼ lift2 þ drag2 =weight measured in a pull-up manoeuvre in

ON and OFF modes, the elevator in the cruise position flight and calculated from wind tunnel tests

1.5 11

motor ON wind tunnel, motor OFF

10 wind tunnel, motor ON

motor OFF

9 flight test

8

1.0

7

nn [N/N]

6

CL[ ]

n

5

4

0.5

3

0.0 0

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26

AoA [ ° ] V [m/s]

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Contra-rotating propeller for fixed wing MAV: part 1 Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal

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Unfortunately, available literature deals mainly with two cases: Preq – power required to fly.

large contra-rotating propellers and helicopter rotors

(Harrington, 1951; Coleman, 1997; Leishman and Anathan, Other design parameters like RPM, propeller diameter and

2006; Shkarayev et al., 2007). Therefore, the presented spinner diameter were selected arbitrarily by the authors.

approaches cannot be directly applied to small propellers. In The optimal aerodynamic load distribution sCL is calculated

the first case, the ranges of Reynolds numbers are significantly after Crigler (1949) where practical implementation of the

different. In the second case, the external conditions are different Theodorsen theory was discussed. The power required to fly is

since the airplane does not hover and can climb or dive put into the equation defining the total power coefficient of the

independently on motor and propeller settings. The paper propeller (equation (5)):

presents the results of investigations into the design, building and P req

testing of such a propeller. P cT ¼ ð5Þ

ð1=2ÞrV 3 pR2

The paper is organized as follows. First section presents the

design procedure implemented in the original author’s code, where:

Second section summarizes the results obtained from the PcT – total power coefficient.

propeller simulation with the use of finite volume method. R – propeller radius.

Finally, Third section presents the results of 2D simulation of It is approximately equal to the ideal total power coefficient

contra-rotating propeller in the slot. At the end conclusions have (equation (6)):

been drawn.

1

P cT < P c ¼ 2kwð1

þ wÞ 1þ w ð6Þ

k

Propeller design procedure where:

One of the authors developed a computer code for the design Pc – ideal power coefficient.

of contra-rotating propeller based on the Theodorsen theory k – mass coefficient.

published in Theodorsen (1944a-d). The application of w – relative velocity increase (w/V).

computer allowed for performing more efficient iterative 1 – loss coefficient.

calculations. The procedure works according to the rules The values of k, 1, necessary in this equation, are taken from

represented by equations (1)-(37). experimental diagrams shown in Theodorsen (1944a) relative

The propeller design point is set by the airplane to Jw (equation (7)), and are implemented as polynomials into

steady flight conditions derived from basic Newton’s the design code. Basing on the electrical analogy

laws, assuming that the lift has to be equal to the weight (Theodorsen, 1944a), presents the research into the optimal

(equation (1)) and that the thrust has to be equal to the drag circulation distribution about a propeller blade:

(equation (2)):

V

1 J w ¼ Jð1 þ wÞ

¼ ð1 þ wÞ

ð7Þ

L ¼ mg ¼ rV 2 SCL ð1Þ nD

2 where:

1

T req ¼ rV 2 SC D ð2Þ Jw – advance ratio with the induced velocity.

2 J – advance ratio.

where: n – propeller revolutions per second.

D – propeller diameter.

L – lift.

m – airplane mass. To read the values of k, 1, initially w is assumed to be equal to

g – acceleration of gravity. zero, that allows one to determine k, 1 for certain advance

r – air density. ratios calculated from equation (7). The mass coefficient k0 is

V – airspeed. corrected according to equation (8) taking the spinner

S – wing area. diameter into consideration:

CL – airplane lift coefficient.

Treq – thrust required to fly. k0 ¼ k 2 x20 Kðx0 Þ ð8Þ

CD – airplane drag coefficient. where:

Assuming that weight, wing area, air density, and cruise speed k0 – corrected mass coefficient due to the presence of

are known, it is possible to calculate the design lift coefficient spinner.

from equation (3): K – circulation function.

2mg x0 – ratio of the propeller to spinner diameters.

CL ¼ ð3Þ

rV 2 S The value of K(xo) is taken from Gilman (1951), which

allows also for the determination of 10 corresponding to k0.

This allows for calculating the required thrust and power Equation (6) is then rewritten with the values of k0 , 10

(equation (4)) for steady flight conditions, since a direct relation introduced, and solved iteratively for a relative velocity

between the lift and drag coefficients is known from wind tunnel increase w (equation (9)):

tests of the airplane (Galiński et al., 2004):

P cT

P req ¼ T req V ð4Þ 10 w

3 þ ð10 þ k0 Þw

2 þ k0 w

2 ¼0 ð9Þ

2

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Contra-rotating propeller for fixed wing MAV: part 1 Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal

Jacek Mieloszyk, Cezary Galiński and Janusz Piechna Volume 85 · Number 4 · 2013 · 304 –315

repeated iteratively and a newly obtained w is introduced into n – kinematical viscosity.

equation (6). When the advance ratio Jw is calculated The propeller efficiency and performance are calculated after

with sufficient accuracy, the optimal circulation values K(x) Gilman (1951) for the assumed geometry and design

(Gilman, 1951) are determined for certain propeller sections. parameters. Equations (20) and (21) are used to calculate

All information necessary to calculate sufficient front and rear the derivatives of torque coefficients, whereas equations (22)

blades twists as well as the load distribution are now available and (23) are used to calculate the derivatives of thrust

in equations (10)-(14): coefficients for both front and rear propeller blades:

J 1 þ ð1=2Þw dCQ p

w ¼ arctan ð10Þ ¼ J 2 ð1 þ 0:25k0 w F sin2 wo Þ2 ðscl ÞF

p x dx F 8

J ð20Þ

tan wF ¼ ½1 þ 0:5wð1 þ 0:5k tan2 wÞ ð11Þ cos wF

px ðtan wF þ tan gF Þx2

sin2 wo

J

tan wR ¼ ½1 þ 0:5wð1 2 0:5k tan2 wÞ ð12Þ dC Q p

px ¼ J 2 ð1 þ 0:75k0 w R sin2 wo Þ2 ðscl ÞR

dx R 8

J ð1 þ wÞw sin wo

ðscl ÞF ¼ K ðxÞ ð13Þ ð21Þ

px 1 þ 0:25kw sin2 wo cos wF

2

ðtan wR þ tan gR Þx2

J ð1 þ wÞw sin wo sin wo

ðscl ÞR ¼ K ðxÞ ð14Þ

px 1 þ 0:75kw sin2 wo dCT 2 ð1 2 tanðwF ÞtanðgF ÞÞ dC Q

¼ ð22Þ

dx F x ðtanðwF Þ þ tanðgF ÞÞ dx F

where:

dC T 2 ð1 2 tanðwR ÞtanðgR ÞÞ dC Q

w – angle between resultant velocity and linear ¼ ð23Þ

dx R x ðtanðwR Þ þ tanðgR ÞÞ dx R

velocity resulting from propeller rotation (F – front

blade, R – rear blade). where:

x – relative radius of a propeller section (r/R).

sCL – propeller element load coefficient. CQF,R – torque coefficient.

CTF,R – thrust coefficient.

J The coefficients of thrust and moment are given by equations

w0 ¼ arctan ð15Þ

px (24)-(27):

Z 1:0

Equations (13) and (14) taken for certain sections of blades dCQ

and divided by the lift coefficient give the chord distribution C QF ¼ dx ð24Þ

xo dx F

for both the front and rear blades: Z 1:0

dCQ

ðscl ÞF 2pr C QR ¼ dx ð25Þ

cF ¼ ð16Þ xo dx R

BclF Z 1:0

dC T

ðscl ÞR 2pr C TF ¼ dx ð26Þ

cR ¼ ð17Þ xo dx F

BclR Z 1:0

where: dC T

C TR ¼ dx ð27Þ

xo dx R

cF,R – propeller chords (F – front, R – rear).

clF,R – propeller airfoil lift coefficient. The power coefficients are calculated from the coefficients of

r – radius of a propeller section. moment:

B – number of propeller blades.

The Reynolds number is then calculated according to C PF ¼ 2pC QF ð28Þ

formula (18) which allows for correcting the airfoil drag C PF ¼ 2pC QF ð29Þ

coefficient. The developed code tends to balance the drag

against the required thrust, that is why the optimum load and where:

airfoil lift coefficients may change. After every airfoil lift CPF,R – power coefficient.

coefficient change the airfoil drag should be corrected

corresponding to the actual local lift coefficient and The efficiency is determined from equation (30):

Reynolds number: JðC TF þ CTR Þ

h¼ ð30Þ

V xc C PF þ C PR

Re ¼ ð18Þ

n where:

where: h – efficiency.

Finally, torque, thrust and power absorbed by propeller are

rﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ equal to:

px

Vx ¼ V 1þ ð19Þ

J T F ¼ C TF rn2 D4 ð31Þ

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Contra-rotating propeller for fixed wing MAV: part 1 Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal

Jacek Mieloszyk, Cezary Galiński and Janusz Piechna Volume 85 · Number 4 · 2013 · 304 –315

T R ¼ C TR rn2 D4 ð32Þ the phenomena emerging in the course of contra-rotating

QF ¼ C QF rn2 D5 ð33Þ propeller operations.

2 5

A complicated propeller geometry posed severe obstacles to

QR ¼ C QR rn D ð34Þ the mesh generation. A triangular mesh was put onto the

P F ¼ C PF rn3 D5 ð35Þ propeller surface. The mesh was denser close to the leading and

3 5

trailing edges. A spatial mesh was generated for each blade

P R ¼ C PR rn D ð36Þ separately. Each mesh was enclosed in a semi-cylindrical

volume. The mesh was denser near the blade surface. Flat

where:

surfaces of semi-cylinders were declared as an “interface” and

TF,R – propeller thrust. used to transfer the flow data in the course of computations.

QF,R – propeller torque. Meshes for both propellers were produced in the same way. The

PF,R – power absorbed by the propeller. only difference consisted in the opposite twist directions of the

The parameters obtained from the above calculations blades in both the planes of revolution. At the beginning of

are then compared with the thrust and power necessary simulation, the propellers were orthogonal to each other.

for flight. The difference between them is calculated and Finally, the mesh of the external volume was created. Figures 6

added to the assumed power which is again used in and 7 show the configuration of all volumes and meshes.

equation (5): The trailing edge appeared critical near the blade tips,

because long aspect ratio cells were generated. Moreover, the

dP ¼ ðP req 2 hðP F þ P R ÞÞ ð37Þ blade tip had very short chord and only few panels represented

P ¼ P þ dP ð38Þ the blade tip airfoil. Despite the difficulties, after several

attempts, an acceptable volume mesh has been generated

Table I shows the propeller blade geometry obtained (Figure 8).

using the above software code and Figure 5 shows this The simulation started with preliminary calculations under

geometry drawn with commercial CAD software, ready for stationary conditions. The boundary conditions around

manufacturing, for the micro UAV described in the propeller blades volume represented rotation of the fluid.

introduction. The solver was switched to the transient conditions with

rotating mesh and computations continued. Figure 9 shows

Propeller simulation examples of calculated pressure distributions for various

time steps.

The designed propeller was simulated using commercial Simulation parameters:

software based on the finite volume method (Ansys, 2011). 1 air velocity far from the propeller 15.118 m/s; and

2 propeller RPM-s 160 rev/s ¼ 9,600 rpm for each blade.

Table I Blade geometry developed basing on the Theodorsen theory

It was not clear which turbulence model in simulation would

x/R (– ) bF (8) bR (8) cF/R ( –) cR/R ( –) give the best agreement with the real propeller performance.

0.1 65.0 61.2 0.356 0.343 The simulation was performed for Spalart-Allmaras,

0.2 44.2 43.1 0.267 0.262

k-v Standard, k-v with the shear stress transition (SST)

0.3 32.4 32.0 0.204 0.201

0.4 25.6 25.4 0.161 0.160

Figure 6 Mesh on the propeller surface

0.5 21.2 21.0 0.132 0.131

0.6 18.1 18.0 0.111 0.111

0.7 15.8 15.8 0.094 0.094

0.8 14.1 14.0 0.080 0.079

0.9 12.7 12.7 0.063 0.063

0.95 11.6 11.6 0.044 0.044

1 10.7 10.7 0.0 0.0

Note: bF,R pitch angles of front and rear blades

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Contra-rotating propeller for fixed wing MAV: part 1 Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal

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Figure 7 (a) Mesh around isolated blade, (b) volume around isolated blade, and (c) volume around the whole propeller

(a) (b)

(c)

option and Reynolds stress turbulence models and compared the experimental ones was observed. Both the k-v Standard

with the design results and wind tunnel experimental turbulence model (overestimation of power) and the Reynolds

results (Figure 10). The experiment is described in the second stress turbulence model (time-consuming computations) were

part of the paper (Mieloszyk et al., 2012). The monitored values rejected from further computations.

of parameters were averaged after the flow nature had become For the two remaining models of turbulence, i.e. Spalart-

periodic, typically after 14 blade passes. All computed Allmaras and k-v SST, the mesh was refined basing on

power values are in good agreement with the experimental pressure gradients, resulting in a mesh with about 1.5 times

results except for the simulation with k-v Standard turbulence higher number of cells. Figure 11 shows the history of

model. The thrust obtained from simulation for all turbulence residuals for the k-v SST turbulence model. Figure 11(a)

models is overestimated, but the values are comparable to each shows the whole history of residuals, Figure 11(b) shows the

other. The design procedure underestimated the thrust value, residuals of approximately one propellers blade pass and

however still the smallest difference between those results and Figure 11(c) shows the residuals during a single time step

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Contra-rotating propeller for fixed wing MAV: part 1 Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal

Jacek Mieloszyk, Cezary Galiński and Janusz Piechna Volume 85 · Number 4 · 2013 · 304 –315

(a) (b)

Notes: (a) Mesh around the blade tip; (b) the worst cell of the mesh

Figure 10 Comparison between computational and experimental results for thrust and power

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B

A

x-velocity residuals [ ]

Iterations

(a)

x-velocity residuals [ ]

residuals [ ]

Iterations Iterations

(b) (c)

Notes: (a) General; (b) one pass; (c) single time step

when propeller mesh rotates by a small angle, which was During the passing, the accuracy drops slightly, which can be

about 38. A few specific points can be noted in Figure 11(a). seen through a small hill between 12,100 and 12,300 iterations.

At the beginning the solver had turned on the option The steep peaks represent a small mesh rotation every time step

“Reference Mesh”, which indicates the fluid rotation without and the process of convergence after geometry change.

changing a mesh. After initial calculations, at point A in Figure 11(c) shows magnified part of Figure 11(b) to show

Figure 11(a), the option of “Reference Mesh” was changed to the process of mesh rotation during two time steps with a plot of

“Moving Mesh”, simulating the real working conditions of the every recorded residual with k-v SST turbulence model.

propeller. Every time step the propeller blade rotated about Figure 12 shows the thrust history for both turbulence models

38, which corresponded to the rotational velocity of the before and after the mesh adaptation, respectively. The results

propeller. During each time step the computations continued prove that the initial mesh density is fine enough to yield good

until all residuals converged below D ¼ 1e 2 3, or when solutions.

reaching the iteration limit of 25 iterations. The iteration limit Figure 13 shows both the thrust and moment, respectively, on

was never reached except for the first few iterations with the each blade as well as on the whole propeller. The thrust has a

“Moving Mesh” option. After 8,000 iterations the solution negative sign, since the reference system was used with the x-axis

residuals became very repeatable. At point B in Figure 11(a) directed along the flow. Rapid variations in pressure distributions

the mesh adaptation was used to check if the mesh density is were observed at the moment when the blades were passing each

accurate. No noticeable change in residuals was observed other. In critical moments the sign of the pressure, measured on

and computations were stopped after 13,500 iterations. the propeller blades could change but after the passage had

Figure 11(b) shows one blade passing of the propeller blades. completed the normal pressure distribution was restored. Except

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for the aforementioned peaks, the monitored parameters time Two-dimensional simulation of blade passing

courses are relatively flat. The most important advantage of the through a slot

contra-rotating propeller can be observed. The cumulative

moment of the propeller is equal to zero over a major part of the From the previous analysis it can be clearly seen that the most

cycle duration. The magnitudes of thrust and torque on the front interesting things happen during the blade passing. Similar

and rear propellers are almost the same in case of considered events occur when the propeller blades pass through the slot

propeller. in the wing. Additional 2D analyses where carried out to

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Jacek Mieloszyk, Cezary Galiński and Janusz Piechna Volume 85 · Number 4 · 2013 · 304 –315

investigate what happens then. The authors compared a The biggest change is observed in the aerodynamic efficiency K,

smooth airfoil of the UAV wing with the case in which wing which has a direct influence on the UAV flight range. The

airfoil had a slot with sharpened edges and the propeller aircraft with a slot has approximately 2.5 times worse

airfoils passed through it simultaneously (Figure 14). aerodynamic efficiency, but it has to be remembered that the

At the beginning of simulation the propeller airfoils were far aircraft without the slot does not have such a good aerodynamic

away from the UAV wing. Computations started under the characteristics for high angles of attack (Galiński et al., 2004).

steady state flight conditions. The initial velocity was applied This is the price one should pay for the compromise made.

on the surfaces of the propeller blades, which corresponded to Worsen aerodynamic efficiency results appear due to drag

the rotational velocity. This allowed us to avoid generation of increase at small angles of attack. The pitching moment, which

a starting vortex, when the propeller blades started to move. pulls down the nose of aircraft, is much higher for the aircraft

After steady state computations had converged a dynamic with a slot. That is a disadvantageous behaviour which increases

mesh was turned on. the trim drag of UAV. What is interesting, the coefficients of lift

The mesh was divided into a few areas. The areas of fine mesh and drag for the propeller airfoils are both two times higher for

around the wing and propeller blades were not changed the wing with a slot and because of that aerodynamic efficiency

(Figure 14), to avoid mesh degradation. The layering method of the propeller does not change. Calculations with different

was applied to the mesh areas in front of and behind the types of slot are presented in Mieloszyk (2011).

propeller blades, respectively. When the blades moved, a row of

the mesh was subtracted in front of the blade mesh (rectangular

Conclusions

dense mesh around propeller blades) and added behind it. This

way, smaller number of changes was applied to the mesh and the A software package based on the Theodorsen propeller theory

computational process was stable and under the control, for contra-rotating propellers design was developed. It was

providing a very good convergence rate. The computations were applied to the design process of a contra-rotating propeller

performed for configurations, in which the front propeller went for MAVs. The simulation was also performed with the

down and the rear one went up and for the inverse scheme. The application of commercial software based on the finite-volume

results from both the cases were averaged, because they occur method, using the available Spalart-Allmaras, k-v Standard,

simultaneously one on the left wing and the other on the right k-v with SST option and Reynolds stress turbulence models.

wing, respectively. The Spalart-Allmaras and k-v SST turbulence models were

The total averaged results are shown in Figure 15. The values chosen to continue the simulation. They are computationally

presented on the graph are normalized to be easily comparable. efficient and yield satisfactory results. Most computations

Figure 14 2D dynamic mesh of propeller’s blades passing through the slot in the wing (cross-section – 75 per cent of propeller’s radius)

(a)

(b) (c)

Notes: (a) Section definition; (b) mesh details in the area of the slot; (c) mesh motion (red rows subtracted,

blue rows added)

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Contra-rotating propeller for fixed wing MAV: part 1 Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal

Jacek Mieloszyk, Cezary Galiński and Janusz Piechna Volume 85 · Number 4 · 2013 · 304 –315

Figure 15 Normalized coefficients for: (a) airfoil with the slot and propeller and (b) clean airfoil

(a) (b)

yielded accurate results, although some disagreement with the Gilman, J.J. (1951), “Application of Theodorsen’s

experiment is noticeable. All computational methods need propeller theory to the calculation of the performance of

some adjustments to give more accurate and reliable results. dual-rotating propellers”, NACA RM L51A17.

The application of rotating mesh option allowed for obtaining Grasmeyer, J.M. and Keennon, M.T. (2001), “Development

time dependent characteristics, which are presented for the of the black widow micro air vehicle”, AIAA Paper

first time. Some comments on the wing-propeller interactions 2001-0127, January.

were made with the application of two-dimensional Harrington, R.D. (1951), “Full-scale-tunnel investigation of

simulation experiment. the static thrust performance of a coaxial helicopter rotor”,

NACA TN 2318.

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References near a generating aerodynamic surface: a perspective”, Prog.

Aerospace Sci., Vol. 34 Nos 3/4, pp. 167-217.

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Products/SimulationþTechnology/FluidþDynamics/ optimization of a coaxial proprotor”, American Helicopter

ANSYSþFLUENT Society 62nd Annual Forum Proceedings, Phoenix, AZ, 9-11 May.

Bovais, C., Mackrell, J., Foch, R. and Carruthers, S. (2003), Mieloszyk, J. (2011), “Handling optimization problems on an

“Dragon eye UAV: concept to production”, Proceedings of example of micro UAV”, Proceedings of 3rd CEAS Air

UAVs XVIII International Conference, Bristol, UK, 31 March- & Space Conference, Venice, Italy, 24-28 October,

2 April, pp. 3.1-3.12. pp. 1428-1438.

Coleman, C.P. (1997), “A survey of theoretical Mieloszyk, J., Galiński, C. and Piechna, J. (2012), “Contra-

and experimental coaxial rotor aerodynamic research”, rotating propeller for fixed wing MAV: part II”, Aircraft

NASA TP 3675. Engineering & Aerospace Technology, Vol. 85 No. 5.

Crigler, J.L. (1949), “Application of Theodorsen’s theory to Morris, S.J. (1997), “Design and flight test results for

propeller design”, NACA RM L8F30, NACA TR 924. micronized fixed-wing and VTOL aircraft”, Proceedings of

Galiński, C. (2006), “Gust resistant fixed wing micro air vehicle”, the First International Conference on Emerging Technologies

Journal of Aircraft, AIAA, Vol. 43 No. 5, pp. 1586-1588. for Micro Air Vehicles, Georgia Institute of Technology,

Galiński, C., Eyles, M. and Żbikowski, R. (2003), Atlanta, GA, February.

“Experimental aerodynamics of delta wing MAVs and Polhamus, E.C. (1966), “A concept of the vortex lift of

their scaling”, Proceedings of the XVIII International sharp-edge delta wings based on a leading-edge-suction

UAV Conference, Bristol, UK, 31 March-2 April, analogy”, NASA Technical Note TN D-3767, December.

pp. 37.1-37.11. Shkarayev, S., Moschetta, J.M. and Bataille, B. (2007),

Galiński, C., Lawson, N. and Żbikowski, R. (2004), “Delta “Aerodynamic design of VTOL micro air vehicles”, paper

wing with leading edge extension and propeller propulsion presented at 3rd US-European Competition and Workshop on

for fixed wing MAV”, Proceedings of ICAS Congress, ICAS, Micro Air Vehicle Systems (MAV07) and European Micro Air

Yokohama, Japan, 29 August-3 September, ICAS Paper Vehicle Conference and Flight Competition (EMAV2007),

2004-1.10.5. Toulouse, France, 17-21 September.

314

Contra-rotating propeller for fixed wing MAV: part 1 Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal

Jacek Mieloszyk, Cezary Galiński and Janusz Piechna Volume 85 · Number 4 · 2013 · 304 –315

Theodorsen, T. (1944a), “The theory of propellers I – Theodorsen, T. (1944d), “The theory of propellers IV –

determination of the circulation function and the thrust, energy, and efficiency formulas for single- and dual-

mass coefficient for dual-rotating propellers”, NACA rotating propellers with ideal circulation distribution”,

TR 775. NACA TR 778.

Theodorsen, T. (1944b), “The theory of propellers II – Watkins, S., Milbank, J., Loxton, B. and Melbourne, W.

method for calculating the axial interference velocity”, (2006), “Atmospheric winds and their implications for

microair vehicles”, AIAA Journal, Vol. 44 No. 11,

NACA-ACR-L4I19, NACA TR 776.

pp. 2591-2600.

Theodorsen, T. (1944c), “The theory of propellers III – the

slipstream contraction with numerical values for two-blade

and four-blade propellers”, NACA-ACR-L4J10,

Corresponding author

NACA TR 777. Cezary Galiński can be contacted at: cegal@meil.pw.edu.pl

Or visit our web site for further details: www.emeraldinsight.com/reprints

315

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