This paper focuses on one of the most prominent flow features of the hovering rotor wake, the close interaction of the tip vortex with a following blade. Such vortex interactions are fundamental determinants of rotor performance, loads, and noise. Yet, they are not completely understood, largely due to the lack of sufficiently comprehensive experimental data. The present study aims to perform such comprehensive measurements, not on hovering helicopter rotors (which hugely magnifies test complexity) but using fixed-wing models in controlled wind tunnel tests. The experiments were designed to measure, in considerable detail, the aerodynamic loading resulting from a vortex interacting with a semi-span wing, as well as the wake resulting from that interaction. The goal of the present study is to answer fundamental questions such as (a) the influence of a vortex passing below a wing on the lift, drag, tip vortex, and the wake of that wing and (b) the strength of the forming tip vortex and its relation to the wing loading and/or the tip loading. This paper presents detailed wing surface pressure measurements that result from the interaction of the wing with an interacting vortex trailing from an upstream wing. The data show large lift distribution changes for a range of wing–vortex interactions including the effects of close encounter with the vortex core. Significant asymmetry in the vortex-induced lift loading was observed, with the increase in wing sectional lift outboard of the interacting vortex (closer to the tip) being much smaller than the corresponding decrease inboard of the vortex.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 13, 2015
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