The aerodynamics of a helicopter undergoing steady‐state maneuvers has been studied using a free‐vortex model of the rotor wake. The wake model is based on a finite‐difference approximation to the vorticity transport equation, and is solved using a pseudo‐implicit
relaxation method. It is shown that, in both hover and forward flight, maneuvers are a source of additional distortion to the vortical rotor wake. This wake distortion can he sensitive to the maneuvering rates. In hover and low speed forward flight, the maneuver induced wake distortion manifests
as a counter intuitive change in inflow velocity through the rotor. This suggests that the free wake dynamics during pitching and rolling maneuvers may manifest as a contributor to the ‘off‐axis’ blade flapping response. At higher advance ratios, the effects of maneuver
induced wake distortions are still present, but are reduced by about half relative to the hover condition. The results provide guidelines as to the importance of the main rotor wake in predicting the rotor flapping response during maneuvers.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Glenn L. Martin Institute of Technology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742.
Publication date: 1999-04-01
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