Comparative Study of Coaxial Main Rotor Aerodynamics at Forward Flight Based on Free Wake Model and Unsteady Reynolds- Averaged Navier–Stokes Method

Sergey Gennadievich Konstantinov, Yuri Mikhailovich Ignatkin, Pavel Viacheslavovich Makeev, Alexander Ivanovich Shomov, Sergey Olegovich Nikitin


This paper is dedicated to the numerical modeling of the aerodynamic characteristics of the full-scale coaxial main rotor. The modes of forward flight in the range of values V = 30−60 m∙s–1 (108−216 km∙h–1) have been under consideration. The simulation has been performed with the usage of two computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approaches: the free wake model (FWM) developed by the authors and the unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (URANS) equations method based on the Ansys Fluent software. The coefficients of rotor thrust and torque, vortex wake shapes and induced velocity fields have been obtained and analyzed. The FWM and the URANS modeling data match satisfactorily. The FWM demonstrates a significant advantage in computing time and resources costs with sufficient accuracy in resulting rotor’s basic aerodynamic characteristics. That’s why it seems appropriate to use the FWM for preliminary simulations, taking into account before using the high time and resource intensive the URANS method for comprehensive investigation of coaxial rotor aerodynamics at flight modes.


Coaxial main rotor; Forward flight; CFD; URANS; Free wake model

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