The effect of blade deformation on rotorcraft acoustics

Christopher C. Hennes, Kenneth Steven Brentner

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The aeromechanical environment of rotorcraft is extremely complex, involving complex aerodynamics, rigid blade motion, and complex elastic deformation. Until recently rotorcraft noise prediction has included the rigid blade motions only, neglecting blade flexibility. Some recent research has attempted to include the effects of the elastic deformation, but this paper presents the first rigorous study of the impact of including flexibility on the acoustics. A derivation of Farassat's Formulation 1A is presented which includes two additional terms related to the surface deformation. The acoustics code PSU-WOPWOP has been modified to include these terms: several cases are analyzed and the impact of flexibility, including the effect of the changing surface area, is examined. The main case considered is a utility helicopter in high-speed forward flight. The aerodynamic inputs to the acoustics code were calculated using an elastic blade definition. The effect of making a rigidblade approximation in the acoustics is investigated, and it is determined that the effect on thickness noise can be reduced by proper positioning of the blade tip. It is then shown that loading noise presents a larger challenge, and the rigid blade approximation can lead to significant errors at some observer locations. Finally, the thickness noise of a speculative advanced "smart materials" blade is examined to set an upper limit on the impact of the new formulation on rotorcraft acoustics. It is found that for present rotorcraft, the additional terms may be neglected safely, although the other effects of blade flexibility should be included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Event31st European Rotorcraft Forum - Florence, Italy
Duration: Sep 13 2005Sep 15 2005


Other31st European Rotorcraft Forum

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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