Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft of the lift+cruise configuration are significantly impacted by the drag of the lift propellers even though they are only briefly used for takeoff and landing. This work aims to quantify the drag penalty of these high lift propellers, its impact on the performance of a lift+cruise eVTOL aircraft, and potential benefits from retracting the propellers during cruise. An eVTOL model is tested in the wind tunnel with propellers extended and retracted. Results show that retracting the propellers reduces parasitic drag by 38%. This measured drag reduction is used to estimate the performance of a passenger eVTOL and a surveillance drone employing a propeller retraction system. A passenger carrying eVTOL lift+cruise aircraft with a propeller retraction system could cruise 21% faster, at the same mission range, or increase range by 13% at the same flight speed. When endurance is the main mission objective, the benefits are smaller, in the order of 7%, and the potential gains are more sensitive to the weight of the retraction system.
Impact of lift propeller drag on the performance of eVTOL lift+cruise aircraft / Bacchini, Alessandro; Cestino, Enrico; Van Magill, Benjamin; Verstraete, Dries. - In: AEROSPACE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. - ISSN 1270-9638. - ELETTRONICO. - 109(2021), pp. 1-11. [10.1016/j.ast.2020.106429]
|Titolo:||Impact of lift propeller drag on the performance of eVTOL lift+cruise aircraft|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ast.2020.106429|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|