Numerical Investigation of 2D/3D Blade-Vortex Interactions

  • E. Yildirim
  • R. Hillier
Conference paper


Vortex interaction with a rotating blade is fundamentally important in understanding the unsteady aerodynamics and aeroacoustics problems arising in a helicopter flight. The blade-vortex interaction (BVI) can occur when the main- and/or tail-rotor blades interact with tip vortices previously shed by preceding high speed blades of the main rotor. Most numerical studies have focused on limiting cases where an idealised vortex interacts with a single, non-rotating blade. Despite the significant differences between a real case scenario of BVIs involving more complex characteristics of blade tip vortices and rotating blades, numerical and computational studies nevertheless provide great insight into the deeper understanding of the fluid mechanics that are relevant to the problem. Our computational modelling approaches this problem in several steps. Firstly the ‘impulsive’ instantaneous blocking of the column vortex by a flat plate. This was studied theoretically for incompressible motion byMarshall [1], who produced an elegant model for ‘area change’ waves in the vortex core. Our Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study essentially models this, together with the true compressible pressure wave formation that also arises. In the second step we extend this to the gradual cutting of the vortex by a sharp flat plate that moves, at a finite speed, through the vortex. Finally, we extend this to the gradual cutting of the vortex by a blunt leading edge aerofoil that moves, at a finite speed, through the vortex, which incorporates both the ‘blocking’ and also stretching and distortion of the vortex lines. In this paper, we present only the 3D numerical computations of a single columnar vortex instantaneously ‘blocked’ by a flat plate.


Vortex Core Compression Side Subcritical Regime Computational Fluid Dynamics Study Swirl Velocity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Yildirim
    • 1
  • R. Hillier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AeronauticsImperial College LondonLondonUK

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