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Overcoming Stopovers in Cycloidal Rotor Propulsion Integration on Air Vehicles

[+] Author Affiliations
José C. Páscoa, Galina I. Ilieva

University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

Paper No. DETC2012-70894, pp. 555-560; 6 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 1st Biennial International Conference on Dynamics for Design; 14th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4505-9
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


A cyclorotor (also known as a cyclocopter or cyclogiro) is a rotating-wing system where the span of the blades runs parallel to the axis of its rotation. The pitch angle of each of the blades is varied cyclically by mechanical means such that the blades experiences positive angles of attack at both the top and bottom positions of the azimuth cycle. The resulting time-varying lift and drag forces produced by each blade can be resolved into the vertical and horizontal directions. Varying the amplitude and phase of the cyclic blade pitch can be used to change the magnitude and direction of the net thrust vector produced by the cyclorotor. Compared to a conventional rotor, each spanwise blade element of a cyclorotor operates at similar aerodynamic conditions (i.e., at similar flow velocities, Reynolds numbers, and angles of incidence), and so the blades can be optimized to achieve the best aerodynamic efficiency. Moreover, because the blades are cyclically pitched once per revolution (1/rev), unsteady flow mechanisms may delay blade stall onset and in turn may augment the lift produced by the blades. Albeit proposed to MAV-scale, its use on large scale vehicles turns problematic, and we proposed in this paper to address their stopovers. Furthermore, since the thrust vector of a cyclorotor can be instantaneously set to any direction perpendicular to the rotational axis, a cyclorotor-based air vehicle may ultimately show better maneuverability and agility as compared to a classical powered conventional rotor system. One major drawback of a cyclorotor is its relatively large rotating structure which might offer a weight penalty when compared to a conventional rotor.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Propulsion , Rotors , Vehicles



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