|Coordinatore||POLITECNICO DI MILANO
address: PIAZZA LEONARDO DA VINCI 32
|Nazionalità Coordinatore||Italy [IT]|
|Totale costo||797˙400 €|
|EC contributo||598˙050 €|
Specific Programme "Cooperation": Joint Technology Initiatives
|Anno di inizio||2013|
|Periodo (anno-mese-giorno)||2013-02-01 - 2015-08-31|
POLITECNICO DI MILANO
address: PIAZZA LEONARDO DA VINCI 32
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The project pertains to the wind tunnel testing of a common helicopter platform of the heavy-weight class. The aim of the testing activity is the evaluation of the effectiveness (mainly in terms of drag reduction) of the shape optimisation performed by GRC consortium on severall components. Both original and optimised models will be tested to assess the optimisation effectiveness by comparison. The tests will complemented by a CFD simulation activity and finally a physical interpretation of the obtained results will be presented.
Aerodynamic drag is a key factor affecting helicopter range, performance and fuel consumption. EU-funded scientists are evaluating improvements in the design of main helicopter parts such as the rotor hub to reduce drag.
Given the continuous growth of helicopter share in air traffic, its aerodynamic drag has attracted great attention. The Green Rotorcraft (GRC2) is part of the Clean Sky initiative focusing, amongst other research areas, on reducing drag of helicopter airframe and non-lifting rotating parts. Optimising the design of these parts is an essential step towards developing efficient, low-emission helicopters.
Focusing on heavy helicopters, scientists are evaluating the effectiveness of shape optimisation of several components that has been performed by the GRC2 consortium. In this respect, the EU-funded project 'Rotorcraf drag reduction' (http://www.aero.polimi.it/rodproject/ (ROD)) aims to test the effectiveness of several components in reducing the drag of a common helicopter platform by an extensive wind-tunnel test campaign. Both the original and the optimised configurations will be tested and their performance compared to draw a conclusion.
A computational fluid dynamic simulation that is complementing the testing activity will support the analysis of the experimental results providing corrections for the measured loads and pressure coefficients.
During the first project phase, scientists have produced the helicopter model that will be used in the wind-tunnel tests in both the original and the optimised configuration. Although some parts were delivered by the GRC2 consortium, the model required a completely new internal structure. This included the rotor-hub driving system with the swashplate for the blade pitch control.
The model can be installed on the wind tunnel pylon in an upside-down or an upright position. The former allows one to study the effect of devices that lie on the lower surface of the fuselage, such as the vortex generators. The latter allows one to evaluate the helicopter performance, including the rotor hub.
Results to date have confirmed that the vortex generators reduce drag as predicted by the calculations. An interesting advantage of vortex generators is that existing helicopters can be easily retrofitted with this technology to reduce fuel consumption.
Future work will focus on evaluating the potential of other optimised helicopter parts to reduce drag. Given that the rotor hub is one of the main helicopter parts that greatly contribute to its aerodynamic drag, scientists expect further improvements through the introduction of an optimised fairing.
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