Measurements of Aerodynamic Performance of the Fuselage of a Hybrid Multi-Rotor Aircraft with Autorotation Capability
(*) Corresponding author
The design and optimization of aircraft structures need to be accompanied by the analysis of their aerodynamics. This paper presents numerical calculations and wind tunnel tests to determine the aerodynamic characteristics of the designed unmanned aircraft. The aim of the study was to analyze the aerodynamic performance of the designed hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle and its longitudinal stability. This unique design, i.e. a hybrid aircraft which is a combination of a gyrocopter and a multi-rotor aircraft has not been the object of research yet. The research object is a 1:1 scale model created by the rapid prototyping method. The research was a computational and experimental study. The ANSYS Fluent software was used for the calculations, and the computational mesh of the developed model consisted of 3.5 million tetrahedral elements. The numerical investigations were carried out using the created CFD model with a k-ω turbulence submodel. In addition, the obtained results made it possible to numerically analyze the forces acting on the individual components of the research object, which is a valuable extension of the wind tunnel tests. The experimental studies were performed in a closed-loop subsonic wind tunnel. Aerodynamic forces and moments were measured using a six-component force balance. The obtained results were compared to validate the developed numerical model. The research values describe the performance of the research object in terms of minimum drag force coefficient, maximum lift to drag ratio, and properties related to stability.
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