Aeroelastic analysis of a MAV-Scale cycloidal rotor Conference Paper uri icon


  • This paper describes the aeroelastic model to predict the blade loads and the average thrust of a micro air vehicle (MAV) scale cycloidal rotor. The analysis was performed using two approaches, one using a non-linear FEM analysis for moderately flexible blades and second using a multibody based large-deformation analysis (especially applicable for extremely flexible blades). An unsteady aerodynamic model is included in the analysis with two different inflow models, uniform inflow and a double-multiple streamtube inflow model. For the cycloidal rotors using moderately flexible blades, the aeroelastic analysis was able to predict the average thrust with sufficient accuracy over a wide range of rotational speeds, pitching amplitudes and number of blades. However, for the extremely flexible blades, the thrust was underpredicted at higher rotational speeds and this may be because of the overprediction of blade deformations. The analysis clearly showed that the reason for the reduction in the thrust producing capability of the cycloidal rotor with blade flexibility may be attributed to the large nose-down elastic twisting of the blades in the upper half cylindrical section which is not compensated by a nose-up pitching in the lower half section. The inclusion of the actual blade pitch kinematics and unsteady aerodynamics was found crucial in the accurate lateral force prediction. Copyright 2010 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.

published proceedings

  • Collection of Technical Papers - AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference

author list (cited authors)

  • Benedict, M., Chopra, I., Mattaboni, M., & Masarati, P.

complete list of authors

  • Benedict, M||Chopra, I||Mattaboni, M||Masarati, P

publication date

  • December 2010