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An Analytical Method for Predicting Rotor Wake Geometry

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An analytical method for predicting the distorted geometry of a helicopter rotor wake is described. The development of this method is ultimately directed toward providing a more accurate aerodynamic theory for computing the instantaneous rotor flow field and associated blade airloads. It is shown that: (1) realistic self‐induced distortions of a rotor wake represented by numerous discrete vortex elements can be computed by application of the classical Biot‐Savart law and numerical integration techniques and (2) by dividing the wake into a series of near and far wake regions, the computation requirements which have previously prohibited the use of such an analysis as a cost‐effective engineering tool can be appreciably reduced. Sample comparisons of analytical and experimental wake geometries of a rotor in forward flight are presented and indicate the ability of the analysis to predict the characteristic distortion features of the wake.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Rotary Wing Technical Group, Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, United Aircraft Research Laboratories, East Hartford, Connecticut

Publication date: 1969-10-01

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  • The Journal of the American Helicopter Society is the world's only scientific journal dedicated to vertical flight technology. It is a peer-reviewed technical journal published quarterly by AHS International and presents innovative papers covering the state-of-the-art in all disciplines of rotorcraft design, research and development. (Please note that AHS members receive significant discounts on articles and subscriptions.)

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