Airfoil design and testing for high-lift rotorcraft applications

Preston B. Martin, Myung Rhee, Mark P. Maughmer, Dan M. Somers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


This paper describes the design of two series of rotorcraft airfoils for a heavy lift helicopter and a heavy lift tiltrotor. A newly emerging method of using a variable camber distribution is described. The use of a multi-point design optimization method was coupled with a traditional conformal mapping technique. The resulting airfoils were wind tunnel tested and provided validation for the method showing its strengths and weaknesses. The resulting airfoils were then analyzed using a Navier-Stokes CFD code, and compared to the design code and the test data. The results of this work demonstrate a method for design of heavy lift rotorcraft and the limitations of computational models to capture trailing edge separation. These limitations must be appreciated to avoid costly design mistakes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Helicopter Society International Specialists Conference on Aerodynamics 2008
PublisherAmerican Helicopter Society International
Number of pages33
ISBN (Print)9781605601045
StatePublished - 2008
EventAHS Specialists Conference on Aerodynamics 2008 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2008Jan 25 2008

Publication series

NameAHS Specialists Conference on Aerodynamics 2008


OtherAHS Specialists Conference on Aerodynamics 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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