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Development of a testing methodology for high-altitude propeller

Jun Jiao (School of Aeronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)
Bifeng Song (School of Aeronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)
Yubin Li (School of Aeronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)
Yugang Zhang (School of Aeronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)
Jianhua Xu (School of Aeronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 19 October 2018

Issue publication date: 22 November 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a propeller performance measurement method for high-altitude platforms by analyzing of the propeller aerodynamic characteristics and application of a mobile testing system.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental approach is adopted for this study. Considering the aerodynamic characteristics of the high-altitude propeller, the similitude of the scaled propeller model in the experiment is analyzed and determined. Then, the experimental method and procedure to obtain the propeller’s performance under different altitudes are presented, and the structure of hardware and software and the key techniques of the testing system are introduced in detail.

Findings

The applicability and effectiveness of the testing system is verified through comparison between experimental and numerical results. In addition, the performance of the 6.8-m propeller for a high-altitude airship is tested, which proves that the high-altitude propeller can meet the requirements of the propulsion system.

Practical implications

The testing methodology and the mobile testing system could be applied to aerodynamic performance evaluation of the high-altitude propellers under different altitudes.

Originality/value

This testing approach exhibits significant time and cost benefits over many other experimental methods to obtain the performance of the high-altitude propellers, which is important in the preliminary design of the propulsion system for high-altitude platforms.

Keywords

Citation

Jiao, J., Song, B., Li, Y., Zhang, Y. and Xu, J. (2018), "Development of a testing methodology for high-altitude propeller", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 90 No. 9, pp. 1486-1494. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-02-2017-0069

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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