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Modelling the aerodynamics of coaxial helicopters : from an isolated rotor to a complete aircraft

Kim, Hyo Wan and Brown, Richard (2008) Modelling the aerodynamics of coaxial helicopters : from an isolated rotor to a complete aircraft. In: EKC 2008 - Proceedings of the EU-Korea Conference on Science & Technology. Springer Proceedings in Physics, 124 (XII). Springer-Verlag, Germany, pp. 45-59. ISBN 978-3-540-85189-9

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This paper provides an overview of recent research on the aerodynamics of coaxial rotors at the Rotorcraft Aeromechanics Laboratory of the Glasgow University Rotorcraft Laboratories. The Laboratory's comprehensive rotorcraft code, known as the Vorticity Transport Model, has been used to study the aerodynamics of various coaxial rotor systems. Modelled coaxial rotor systems have ranged from a relatively simple twin two-bladed teetering configuration to a generic coaxial helicopter with a stiff main rotor system, a tail-mounted propulsor, and a horizontal stabiliser. Various studies have been performed to investigate the ability of the Vorticity Transport Model to reproduce the detailed effect of the rotor wake on the aerodynamics and performance of coaxial systems, and its ability to capture the aerodynamic interactions that arise between the various components of realistic, complex, coaxial helicopter configurations. It is suggested that the use of such a numerical technique not only allows insight into the performance of such rotor systems but might also eventually allow the various aeromechanical problems that often beset new helicopter designs of this type to be circumvented at an early stage in their design.