Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., Kanagawa, Japan
H. H. Nigim
Dept. of Mech. Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Birzeit University,
P.O. Box 14, Birzeit, West Bank, Palestine
H. S. Koyama
Dept. of Mech. Engineering, Tokyo Denki University, 2-2 Kanda-
Nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101, Japan
Correspondence to: H. H. Nigim
Experiments in Fluids 23 (1997) 410—417 Springer-Verlag 1997
The effects of propeller tip vane on flow-field behavior
T. Watanabe, H. H. Nigim, H. S. Koyama
This paper investigates the effects of attaching a tip
vane to a propeller blade on the development and propagation
of a tip vortex. The study employed a two-bladed propeller
operating with and without a tip vane. Evaluation of the tip
vortex was studied by using both smoke-wire ﬂow visualiz-
ation, hot wire anemometer, and strain gauge load-cell
techniques. The mean velocity distributions and the velocity
unsteadiness data as well as thrust, input power and efﬁcien-
cies were obtained. Experiments were repeated at various
rotating speeds ranging from 2000 to 5000 rpm.
List of symbols
d vortex core diameter
eff. propeller efﬁciency
R propeller tip radius
T thrust force
X, Y, Z coordinates
n number of revolutions
m time mean
with with tip vane
without without tip vane
Development of an engine with a low speciﬁc fuel consumption
(SFC) has been one of the main challenges in the aircraft
industry. Conventionally, the turbojet, turbofan and turboprop
engines have been used as propulsion systems for aircrafts.
Especially, the turboprop engine has a lower SFC and a higher
propulsion efﬁciency compared to the other types of engines.
Development of new tough the light materials made possible
the manufaturing of an advanced turboprop (ATP) engine
which is equipped with a large number of highly twisted and
The single most important element of the turboprop engine
is the propeller, since it is the primary source of lift and speed.
At the same time, the propeller is a major source of noise
generation, vibration, body/propeller interaction and control-
surface effectiveness. With regards to the noise generation,
improvements have been obtained by sweeping, tapering,
and thinning the tip region of the blades of the propeller.
There is a wide variety of approaches being employed to
study the aerodynamics characteristics of an aircraft propeller.
Chang and Sullivan (1984), and Kobayakawa and Onuma
(1985) presented interesting results for swept blades using the
vortex-lattice method and nonlinear programming. Matsuo
et al. (1991) employed time-averaged Navier—Stokes equations
to model the ﬂow around a propeller. The effect of vortex core
distortion at blade-vortex interaction was analyzed for two-
dimensional, incompressible, inviscid ﬂow; Poling et al. (1989),
Lee and Smith (1991) and George et al. (1992). Almost all
reported analyses required assumptions of tip-vortex geometry
and rate of contraction of the wake. These assumptions have
been necessary owing to the lack of reliable experimental data.
In order to analyze the ﬂow-ﬁeld behavior of the propeller, it
is necessary to have accurate initial conditions in the imme-
diate vicinity of the propeller. A number of experimental studies
have been done on the ﬂow behind propellers. Lepicovsky
(1988) carried out a relatively simple experiment to measure
the ﬂow-ﬁeld of a two-bladed propeller using LDV to verify his
data reduction procedure. Murthy and Lakshminarayana
(1984), on the other hand, reported mean ﬂow measurements
in the end-wall region of a compressor rotor. Favier et al.
(1977) obtained the azimuthal data for the three velocity
components in the near wake of a propeller by using an
anemometric hot ﬁlm technique. Kotb and Schetz (1986)
investigated the ﬂow-ﬁeld near a propeller, operating in
a three-dimensional turbulent ﬂow. Recently, Shekarriz et al.
(1993) implemented a particle displacement velocimetry to
measure the global instantaneous velocity distribution within
a tip vortex.
The objective of the present study is to investigate the
fundamental ﬂow phenomena around a rotating propeller by