Development of predictive methods for tiltrotor flows

Jimenez-Garcia, Antonio (2018) Development of predictive methods for tiltrotor flows. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis presents evidence on the ability of grid-based, Computational Fluid Dynamics methods based on the Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations to accurately predict axial flight performance of rotors with modest computer resources. Three well-studied blades, the B0-105, S-76, and PSP main rotor blades, are used and results are compared with experimental data. Likewise, performance analyses of the JORP propeller and XV-15 tiltrotor blades are carried out, respectively, aiming to validate the employed CFD method for such relevant flows.

Validation of the HMB3 CFD solver for complete tiltrotors is also presented. The aim is to assess the capability of the present CFD method in predicting tiltrotor airloads at different flight configurations. In this regard, three representative cases of the ERICA tiltrotor were selected, corresponding to aeroplane, transition corridor, and helicopter modes, covering most modes of tiltrotor flight.

Aerodynamic optimisation of tiltrotor blades with high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics coupled with a discrete adjoint method is also carried out. This work shows how the main blade shape parameters influence the optimal performance of the tiltrotor in helicopter and aeroplane modes, and how a compromise blade shape can increase the overall tiltrotor performance.

Finally, the implementation and validation of an efficient, high-order, finite-volume scheme (up to 4th-order of spatial accuracy) in the HMB3 CFD solver is presented. The scheme shows a higher level of accuracy if compared with the standard-MUSCL, and 4th-order accuracy was achieved on Cartesian grids. Furthermore, a significantly high spectral resolution (dispersion and dissipation) of the new scheme is observed. Two-and three-dimensional test cases were considered to demonstrate the new formulation. Results of the steady flow around the 7AD, S-76, JORP propeller, and XV-15 blades showed a better preservation of the vorticity and higher resolution of the vortical structures compared with the standard MUSCL solution. The method was also demonstrated for three-dimensional unsteady flows using overset and moving grid computations for the UH-60A rotor in forward flight and the ERICA tiltrotor in aeroplane mode. For medium grids, the new high-order scheme adds CPU and memory overheads of 22% and 23%, respectively. The parallel performance of the scheme is fair but can be further improved.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: The use of the clusters Chadwick of the University of Liverpool and the EPSRC funded ARCHIE-WeSt High Performance Computer (, EPSRC grant no. EP/K000586/1 is gratefully acknowledged.
Keywords: Tiltrotor, CFD, aerodynamic, aeroacoustic, optimisation, hover.
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Supervisor's Name: Barakos, Professor George
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Mr Antonio Jimenez-Garcia
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-8603
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2018 12:04
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2018 08:28

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