Performance and Loads of Variable Tip Speed Rotorcraft at High Advance Ratios

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This dissertation presents a lifting-line, comprehensive approach to predicting the performance and loads of high advance ratio rotorcraft. At high advance ratios, the reverse flow region is large and its unique aerodynamics impacts the rotor performance and dynamics more than at conventional airspeeds where they are often ignored. The analysis is refined and augmented with improved modeling of the nearwake in reverse flow, a new aerodynamic model of the fuselage and the root cutout region and corrections to the airfoil properties for highly yawed flow. The analysis is correlated and evaluated against a full-scale UH-60A rotor test to an advance ratio of 1.0 and against an in-house Mach-scaled rotor to an advance ratio of 1.2. High advance ratio performance is predicted satisfactorily for both tests, including predicting the onset of thrust reversal. Despite the high advance ratio, correctly modeling the wake is most important for predicting airloads and the resulting blade bending loads, while yawed flow, nearwake inflow and the fuselage flow disturbances are important for predicting high advance ratio thrust and power. The validated analysis is used to investigate the effect of reverse flow stall, blade twist, root cut-out and shaft angle on high advance ratio performance.