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doi: 10.17586/2226-1494-2022-22-6-1226-1236

Modeling and simulation ofone- and two-row six-bladed ducted fans

S. Y. Dudnikov, M. P. Bulat, L. O. Vokin, P. N. Kuznetsov, P. S. Chernyshov

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Dudnikov S.Yu., Bulat M.P., Vokin L.O., Kuznetsov P.N., Chernyshov P.S. Modeling and simulation of one- and two-row six-bladed ducted fans. Scientific and Technical Journal of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, 2022, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 1226–1236 (in Russian). doi: 10.17586/2226-1494-2022-22-6-1226-1236

The problem of simulation of efficient ducted fan type propulsors is considered. From experience of operation of twin blades in fantails of helicopters, it is known that this configuration creates less noise compared to a uniform arrangement of the blades around the circumference. However, the flow behind such fan is less uniform than that of a conventional ducted fan. For multicopter-type unmanned aircraft and air taxis, the key problem is flight in take-off and landing modes as well as acoustic and vortex fields created by propulsors in these modes. The decrease in the noise level in propellers with twin blades can potentially be accompanied by an increase in non-stationary vortex effects on the aircraft as well as a decrease in specific thrust. The objectives were to develop a method for simulation of ducted fan propellers in the takeoff and landing mode, to determine the optimal angle between the blades, and to compare a ducted fan with twin X-shaped blades to conventional blade position. Turbulent flows were calculated using transient Reynold-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, complemented by SST turbulence model, and large eddy simulation with WALE subgrid viscosity model. The calculations used the modification γ–Reθ Transition SST of the Langtry-Menter turbulence model, where there are relations for the intermittency criterion, which made it possible to consider the laminar-turbulent transition and the appearance of thin laminar separation bubbles that affect both the thrust of the propeller and the non-uniformity of the flow behind it. Testing was carried out on four-bladed propellers according to the known results of the TsAGI reference experiments. Testing of the γ–Reθ Transition SST Langtry-Menter turbulence model showed that it reproduces the dependence of the thrust coefficient and power factor on the blade angle better than the standard SST model. Calculations have shown that there is a clearly defined optimum angle between the paired blades. A comparison of three-bladed, six-bladed single and six-bladed propellers with twin blades showed that the latter option has slightly better thrust characteristics and creates a significantly lower noise level on the ground. The studied characteristics of ducted fans demonstrate the prospects for the use of propellers with twin blades in aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing. The developed numerical method can be directly used for industrial calculations of propellers and fans.

Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicle, unmanned aircraft, ducted fan, modeling and simulation, optimization, fenestron

Acknowledgements. This work was financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation in the course of the project “Fundamental bases of mechanics, control and management systems for unmanned aircraft systems with shaping structures deeply integrated with propulsion systems and unique properties not used today in manned aviation”, No. FEFM-2020-0001.

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