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Numerical Simulation of the Wake Generated by a Helicopter Rotor in Icing Conditions

Guozhi Li1, Yihua Cao2,*

1 Institute of Systems Engineering, Aviation Industry Development Research Center of China, Beijing, 100029, China
2 School of Aeronautic Science and Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, 100191, China

* Corresponding Author: Yihua Cao. Email: email

Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing 2021, 17(2), 235-252.


The wake generated by the rotor of a helicopter can exert a strong interference effect on the fuselage and the horizontal/vertical tail. The occurrence of icing on the rotor can obviously make this interplay more complex. In the present study, numerical simulation is used to analyze the rotor wake in icing conditions. In order to validate the overall mathematical/numerical method, the results are compared with similar data relating to other tests; then, different simulations are conducted considering helicopter forward flight velocities of 0, 10, 20, 50, and 80 knots and various conditions in terms of air temperature (atmospheric temperature degrading from −12°C to −20°C or from −20°C to −26°C). The results indicate that the rotor aerodynamic performance (i.e., the lift-to-drag ratio distribution of the rotor disc) drops significantly once the rotor undergoes ice accretion. More importantly, the icing exerts a different influence of the wake dynamics depending on the atmospheric conditions. Interestingly, the rime-ice firstly occurs on the inner portion of rotor blades and then diffuses outward along the blade radial direction with the decrease in atmospheric temperature.


Cite This Article

Li, G., Cao, Y. (2021). Numerical Simulation of the Wake Generated by a Helicopter Rotor in Icing Conditions. FDMP-Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing, 17(2), 235–252.


cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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