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Aerodynamic Uncertainty Quantification for Tiltrotor Aircraft

Ye Yuan Orcid Logo, Douglas Thomson, David Anderson

Aerospace, Volume: 9, Issue: 5, Start page: 271

Swansea University Author: Ye Yuan Orcid Logo

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Abstract

The tiltrotor has unique flight dynamics due to the aerodynamic interference characteristics. Multiple aerodynamics calculation approaches, such as the CFD method, are utilised to characterise this feature. The calculation process is usually time-consuming, and the obtained results are generally var...

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Published in: Aerospace
ISSN: 2226-4310
Published: MDPI AG 2022
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa60064
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Abstract: The tiltrotor has unique flight dynamics due to the aerodynamic interference characteristics. Multiple aerodynamics calculation approaches, such as the CFD method, are utilised to characterise this feature. The calculation process is usually time-consuming, and the obtained results are generally varied from each other. Thus, the uncertainty quantification (UQ) method will be utilised in this research to identify the aerodynamic inaccuracy effect on the handling qualities of the tiltrotor aircraft. The study aims to quantify the influence of the aerodynamic interference on the tiltrotor flight dynamics in different flight states, such as forward speeds and nacelle tilting angles, which can guide the flight dynamics modelling simplification to improve the simulation efficiency. Therefore, uncertainty identification and full factorial numerical integration (FFNI) methods are introduced to scale these aerodynamic uncertainties. The eigenvalue and bandwidth and phase delay requirements are presented as the failure criteria. The UQ calculation indicates that the uncertainties of the aerodynamic calculation significantly affect the handling quality ratings in two flight ranges: the helicopter mode and the conversion and aeroplane modes with higher forward speed (close to the conversion envelope). Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis is performed to identify the mechanism behind these influences. The results demonstrate that aerodynamics affect the pitching attitude, the pitching damping, and the velocity and incidence stability derivatives. However, the effects of the velocity stability and the incidence stability are the reason causing the handling qualities’ degradation in the helicopter mode and high-speed mode, respectively.
Keywords: tiltrotor; uncertainty quantification; handling qualities; flight dynamics
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: The financial support of the EPSRC project MENtOR: Methods and Experiments for NOvel Rotorcraft EP/S013814/1, is gratefully acknowledged.
Issue: 5
Start Page: 271