Rotor5: Rotor analysis under 5 hours using ultra-fast and high-fidelity CFD simulation and automatic meshing

27 Jan 2022 By Runda Ji, Feilin Jia, Philippe Spalart, Zongfu Yu and Qiqi Wang

We introduce a novel workflow called Rotor5 to simplify and accelerate the traditional high-fidelity rotor simulations by integrating (1) CAD preparation (2) mesh generation and (3) CFD solver into an end-to-end process. We quantify the limitations of a popular low-fidelity rotor design tool called Xrotor and demonstrate the necessity of using a high-fidelity CFD solver such as Rotor5. Using both Xrotor and Rotor5, we investigate the tiltrotor XV-15 at two different flight conditions: (1) airplane propeller mode in forward flight and (2) helicopter hovering mode, where the fundamental limitations of low-fidelity Xrotor could cause a catastrophic design failure. A major cause for this is the tip vortex of the preceding blade.