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Characterization of a Blade-Tip-Propeller Driven Rotor

Robert Brown, Naval Surface Warfare Center
Inderjit Chopra, University of Maryland

https://doi.org/10.4050/F-0079-2023-17965

Abstract:
A blade-tip-propeller driven rotor utilizes small electric motors and propellers attached at the blade tip to spin the main rotor. Potential applications of this technology are for high performance, mechanically simple, vertical takeoff and landing unmanned aerial vehicles. This paper presents a method of systematically characterizing the performance of an isolated propeller, isolated rotor, as well as the combined blade-tip-propeller driven rotor configuration. A series of wind tunnel tests were performed to experimentally obtain the isolated propeller performance at axial wind speeds up to 25 m/s and propeller tip speeds up to 100 m/s. Next, a novel method of rotor blade manufacturing was developed that involved laying multiple high powered wires inside the blade to provide electrical power to the motor at the blade tip. This process was utilized to fabricate a 5.5 feet (1.68 meter) diameter blade-tip-propeller driven rotor system that was tested in hover. Finally, a mathematical model was created for the blade-tip-propeller configuration and the predictions were compared to experimental results from the hover test stand model. The power loading of an isolated rotor and the new blade-tip-propeller configuration were compared, which identified several key areas of improvement.


Characterization of a Blade-Tip-Propeller Driven Rotor

  • Presented at Forum 79
  • 18 pages
  • SKU # : F-0079-2023-17965
  • Advanced Vertical Flight

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Characterization of a Blade-Tip-Propeller Driven Rotor

Authors / Details:
Robert Brown, Naval Surface Warfare Center
Inderjit Chopra, University of Maryland