Aeroelastic Analysis of a Micro-Air-Vehicle-Scale Cycloidal Rotor in Hover Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper describes the aeroelastic model to predict the blade loads and the average thrust of a micro-air-vehiclescale cycloidal rotor. The analysis was performed using two approaches: one using a second-order nonlinear beam finite element method analysis for moderately flexible blades and a second using a multibody-based largedeformation analysis (especially applicable for extremely flexible blades) incorporating a geometrically exact beam model. An unsteady aerodynamic model is included in the analysis with two different inflow models: single streamtube and double-multiple streamtube inflow models. 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 nosedown elastic twisting of the blades in the upper half cylindrical section, which is not compensated by a noseup pitching in the lower half-section. The inclusion of the actual blade pitch kinematics, unsteady aerodynamics, and flow curvature effects was found crucial in the accurate lateral force prediction. Copyright 2011 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • AIAA Journal

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

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

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Benedict, Moble||Mattaboni, Mattia||Chopra, Inderjit||Masarati, Pierangelo

publication date

  • November 2011