Mechanisms of Active Aerodynamic Load Reduction on a Rotorcraft Fuselage With Rotor Effects.




The reduction of the aerodynamic load that acts on a generic rotorcraft fuselage by the application of active flow control was investigated in a wind tunnel test conducted on an approximately 1/3-scale powered rotorcraft model simulating forward flight. The aerodynamic mechanisms that make these reductions, in both the drag and the download, possible were examined in detail through the use of the measured surface pressure distribution on the fuselage, velocity field measurements made in the wake directly behind the ramp of the fuselage and computational simulations. The fuselage tested was the ROBIN-mod7, which was equipped with a series of eight slots located on the ramp section through which flow control excitation was introduced. These slots were arranged in a U-shaped pattern located slightly downstream of the baseline separation line and parallel to it. The flow control excitation took the form of either synthetic jets, also known as zero-net-mass-flux blowing, and steady blowing. The same set of slots were used for both types of excitation. The differences between the two excitation types and between flow control excitation from different combinations of slots were examined. The flow control is shown to alter the size of the wake and its trajectory relative to the ramp and the tailboom and it is these changes to the wake that result in a reduction in the aerodynamic load.



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