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Aerodynamic Design Optimisation of a Helicopter Fuselage including a Rotating Rotor Head


The project is aimed on reducing the aerodynamic drag of light weight class helicopters by shape optimization of components which typically produce a large amount of aerodynamic drag. Both experimental and numerical simulations are conducted on a helicopter fuselage configuration with rotating rotor head. The main effort is on three wind tunnel campaigns analyzing the aerodynamic characteristics of the baseline configuration and of three modified configurations. The design modifications concentrate on the landing skids and on the rotor head to reduce the aerodynamic drag associated with these components. Effects of spoilers, strakes and vortex generators are addressed as well to influence the fuselage wake for further drag reduction. In order to create a detailed data base, the wind tunnel experiments include force measurements to obtain aerodynamic forces and moments, pressure measurements to capture steady and unsteady surface pressure distributions and field measurements of mean and fluctuating velocity components for wake analysis. A new wind tunnel model consisting of fuselage, tailboom segment and rotating rotor head will be designed, manufactured and instrumented to conduct the wind tunnel tests. The model will provide high modularity of its components to exchange them easily for shape modification with respect to drag reduction. The experimental tasks are supplemented by computational fluid dynamics work to numerically cross-check the wind tunnel data for selected cases.

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Arcisstrasse 21
80333 Muenchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Ulrike Ronchetti (Ms.)
EU contribution
No data