Skip to main content
European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Aerodynamic and aeroacoustic modeling of closely operating propellers for DIStributed PROPulsion

Project description

Optimising placement of many smaller propellers for enhanced propulsion

In the nearly 80 years since the first jet aircraft took to the skies, the jet engines that propel them have been located under the fixed wings or on the fuselage. Novel designs for new aircraft with increasing electrification have prompted innovation in propulsion systems. Among the most promising concepts is distributed propulsion. Numerous smaller electric propellers (propeller arrays) are distributed along the aircraft with flexibility to enhance the aerodynamic coupling between the propellers and the wings and improve performance over conventional designs. The EU-funded DISPROP project will enhance design and analysis tools to support the optimisation of new distributed propulsion systems with closely spaced propellers for a boost in efficiency and greener flight.


DISPROP aims at improving the current aerodynamic and aeroacoustic analysis and design capabilities for large aircraft operating with distributed propulsion (DP) and propeller arrays. This will be done by generating a high-quality, industry-relevant experimental database using 2D and 2.5D wing sections equipped with propeller arrays. Using this database, the capability of existing CFD and CAA codes will be updated in order to better predict the relevant aerodynamic and aeroacoustic interaction phenomena occurring between the wing and the propellers slipstream. Parametric studies will be conducted to identify most promising configurations.
This 30-months 2,7M valued project will consist of four phases. After a preparatory phase, where relevant geometries will be selected based on their high potential for DP, two to three wing geometries will be highly parametrized in Phase 1 and investigated by both CFD and medium-scale wind tunnel tests (WTT). Then, in Phase 2, the most promising configuration will be wind-tunnel tested in large scale at DNW NWB to generate aerodynamic and aeroacoustic experimental database that will be used to validate CFD and CAA simulations. In a subsequent exploitation phase, the combined numerical and experimental database will be extrapolated to full-scale 3D geometries based on the advanced Power Balance Method.
The analysis and design tools matured and validated within DISPROP will enable the development of new aircraft configurations with DP and closely integrated propellers. Operating with a drastic increase in overall efficiency compared to conventional aircraft, such configurations contribute to the CS2 objective of reduced CO2 emissions.
The DISPROP consortium is composed of internationally recognized experts in CFD and CAA modeling, academic and industrial-scale WTT (the best facility in Europe for aerodynamic and aeroacoustic aircraft validation), as well as aircraft designers experienced in DP.


Net EU contribution
€ 510 125,00
10623 Berlin

See on map

Berlin Berlin Berlin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 510 125,00

Participants (4)