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Rotor Performance at High Advance Ratio: Theory versus TestFive analytical tools have been used to study rotor performance at high advance ratio. One is representative of autogyro rotor theory in 1934 and four are representative of helicopter rotor theory in 2008. The five theories are measured against three sets of well documented, full-scale, isolated rotor performance experiments. The major finding of this study is that the decades spent by many rotorcraft theoreticians to improve prediction of basic rotor aerodynamic performance has paid off. This payoff, illustrated by comparing the CAMRAD II comprehensive code and Wheatley & Bailey theory to H-34 test data, shows that rational rotor lift to drag ratios are now predictable. The 1934 theory predicted L/D ratios as high as 15. CAMRAD II predictions compared well with H-34 test data having L/D ratios more on the order of 7 to 9. However, the detailed examination of the selected codes compared to H-34 test data indicates that not one of the codes can predict to engineering accuracy above an advance ratio of 0.62 the control positions and shaft angle of attack required for a given lift. There is no full-scale rotor performance data available for advance ratios above 1.0 and extrapolation of currently available data to advance ratios on the order of 2.0 is unreasonable despite the needs of future rotorcraft. Therefore, it is recommended that an overly strong full-scale rotor blade set be obtained and tested in a suitable wind tunnel to at least an advance ratio of 2.5. A tail rotor from a Sikorsky CH-53 or other large single rotor helicopter should be adequate for this exploratory experiment.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Harris, Franklin D.
(Harris (Franklin D.) and Associates Piedmont, OK, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 2008
Subject Category
Fluid Mechanics And Thermodynamics
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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