University of Twente Student Theses


Modelling of a ducted fan and its contribution to drag on a PAV hull

Koers, Laurens (2019) Modelling of a ducted fan and its contribution to drag on a PAV hull.

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Abstract:The goal of this internship was to get insight in the amount of aerodynamic drag experienced by a Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) as a result of its propeller wake. The PAV was in a preliminary design phase at the aviation engineering department of RMIT University in Melbourne Australia. During this internship, a geometrical model was made using Solidworks of the PAV and the parts that were needed for modelling, the propellers and propeller ducts. The models were needed to perform simulations of airflow over the propeller and the hull. With this fluid simulation software, Ansys Fluent, the propellers were modelled first to find out if the previously determined angular velocity is sufficient to provide the needed thrust for lifting the PAV in the air. This is done by filling a spatial domain with tiny volumes for which the Navier-Stokes equations are solved provided some boundary conditions. This initial process is called ‘meshing’ and is a needed step for the actual simulation. As a secondary objective, the original 3-bladed propeller was redesigned to a 4-bladed propeller to test what amount of blades provides the higher amount of thrust. An other simulation was performed to calculate the amount of aerodynamic drag the PAV encounters in cruising flight. Finally, a simulation was done to determine the drag force on the PAV by the wake of its propeller as it blows on the PAV hull. The results were somewhat inconclusive as some simulations were more accurate than others because of computational limitations on the needed software. An accurate result was found for drag force in cruising flight and downward drag but the results for the propeller simulations could not be deemed accurate.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Mechanical Engineering MSc (60439)
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