Scaled model testing of rotor hub root-end airfoil shapes

Charles Tierney, Jeff Harris, David Reich, Nicholas Jaffa, Sven Schmitz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In order to extend the boundaries of helicopter performance and increase forward-flight speed, it is necessary to reduce the drag on the rotor hub, which can account for as much as 30% of the total parasite drag on the helicopter. Currently, there is limited experimental data available to predict the drag force on new hub configuratio ns. The purpose of this testing is to create a database of lift and drag at various angles of attack to aid in hub design and hub drag prediction. Testing was conducted in the 12 inch-diameter water tunnel at ARL Penn State on four shapes – DBLN 526, 4:1 Ellipse, 3.25:1 Rectangle, and a new Optimized Cambered Shape (OCS) designed at UT Knoxville. Load cell data for lift and drag were obtained for angles of attack from approximately -5 degrees to 5 degrees. Drag data were also calculated using PIV velocity fields. Results are plotted and tabulated for use in future hub drag prediction toolsets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
EventVertical Flight Society's 75th Annual Forum and Technology Display - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: May 13 2019May 16 2019


ConferenceVertical Flight Society's 75th Annual Forum and Technology Display
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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