Impact of blade shape on the aerodynamic performance and turbulent jet dynamics produced by a ducted rotor



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



A ducted rotor system was used to produce turbulent jets with a Reynolds number up to 5.97 × 105 and Mach number of 0.222 based on mean streamwise velocity. Three rotors with a diameter of 11.8 cm were manufactured and tested inside a duct with a 1 mm tip clearance at a speed up to 30 000 revolutions per minute (rpm). All rotor blades contain the same aspect ratio of 2.2, a National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics 2410 airfoil, and ideal pitch distribution. However, three different blade planform shapes were used including a rectangular shape with constant chord, trapezoidal shape with a taper ratio of 0.5, and elliptical shape where the trailing edge of the blade is expressed with an elliptical function. The rotor thrust and electric power were measured, and the thrust coefficient and figure of merit was computed. The flow-field produced by the ducted rotors was measured in the near-field using laser Doppler velocimetry techniques. The inflow velocity approximately 3 mm upstream of the rotor blade leading edge was acquired and its significance on blade aerodynamics and performance is analyzed. Time-averaged contours of cross-stream vorticity reveal intense hub and blade tip vortex structures, which are impacted by the shape of the blade, particularly in the blade tip region. Tip vorticity as well as streamwise turbulence intensity and turbulent kinetic energy in this region were mitigated for the rotors with trapezoidal and elliptical blades. However, the turbulent structure of the jet produced by all three rotor blade shapes showed similarity at a mere 2.8 rotor diameters downstream of the rotor. This finding emphasizes the importance of blade design on the near-field dynamics of ducted rotor flows for aircraft propulsion.


© 2024 Author(s).



Maldonado, V., & Fernandes, G.D.. 2024. Impact of blade shape on the aerodynamic performance and turbulent jet dynamics produced by a ducted rotor. Physics of Fluids, 36(5).