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Wind Tunnel Testing and Analysis of a Rigid, Variable Speed Rotor for eVTOL Applications

William Staruk, Evan Bonny, Lauren Butt, Cody Gray, Garrett Hennig, Diego Represa, Richard Toner, Aurora Flight Sciences - A Boeing Company

October 10, 2020

https://doi.org/10.4050/F-0076-2020-16411

Abstract:
Many electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft intended for the urban air mobility (UAM) market are currently being designed with multirotor configurations using variable speed fixed-pitch, rigid rotors for lift. These types of rotors, which are similar in construction to general aviation airplane propellers, are simpler than helicopter rotors and have no moving parts in the rotating frame. This paper discusses wind-tunnel testing of a full-scale, UAM multirotor size, fixed-pitch, rigid rotor with a focus on vibratory blade loads and on the ability to predict these loads with comprehensive analysis. Test results show that vibratory loads are very high, with peak-to-peak magnitudes up to three times greater than the steady component. Correlation of test data to comprehensive analysis using geometrically exact composite beam structural elements and dynamic inflow wake modeling captures the trends in the steady and vibratory loads, but under-predicts the magnitudes by up to 50%. The paper also discusses the physical sources of the observed vibratory loads and suggests potential options for mitigating their magnitude.


Wind Tunnel Testing and Analysis of a Rigid, Variable Speed Rotor for eVTOL Applications

  • Presented at Forum 76 - Best Paper for this session
  • 22 pages
  • SKU # : F-0076-2020-16411
  • September 2021 Paper of the Month.

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Wind Tunnel Testing and Analysis of a Rigid, Variable Speed Rotor for eVTOL Applications

Authors / Details: William Staruk, Evan Bonny, Lauren Butt, Cody Gray, Garrett Hennig, Diego Represa, Richard Toner, Aurora Flight Sciences - A Boeing Company