Performance based optimization of high speed prop-rotors

Thomas R. McCarthy, Aditi Chattopadhyay, Peter D. Talbot, John F. Madden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


An optimization procedure is developed to investigate the effect of blade aerodynamic characteristics on cruise and hover performance of prop-rotor aircraft. The objective is to simultaneously maximize the high speed cruise propulsive efficiency and the hover figure of merit. Constraints are imposed on the hover and cruise thrust which are representative of the operating conditions of a civil tiltrotor aircraft. Design variables include the blade chord, twist, thickness and zero lift angle of attack distributions. The aerodynamic analysis is performed using the classical blade element momentum approach, including a representation of the high lift potential of propeller/rotor blades in comparison to two dimensional airfoil properties. Optimum designs are presented for hover only, airplane mode only and for simultaneous hover/cruise modes. The results are compared with the XV-15 rotor blade performance at 300 knots. Optimum results for simultaneous hover/cruise modes are also presented for 400 knots operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-100
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Helicopter Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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