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Featured article: Review of vortex methods for rotor aerodynamics and wake dynamics
Electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft with multiple lifting rotors or prop-rotors have received significant attention in recent years due to their great potential for next-generation urban air mobility (UAM). Numerical models have been developed and validated as predictive tools to analyze rotor aerodynamics and wake dynamics. Among various numerical approaches, the vortex method is one of the most suitable because it can provide accurate solutions with an affordable computational cost and can represent vorticity fields downstream without numerical dissipation error. This paper presents a brief review of the progress of vortex methods, along with their principles, advantages, and shortcomings. Applications of the vortex methods for modeling the rotor aerodynamics and wake dynamics are also described. However, the vortex methods suffer from the problem that it cannot deal with the nonlinear aerodynamic characteristics associated with the viscous effects and the flow behaviors in the post-stall regime. To overcome the intrinsic drawbacks of the vortex methods, recent progress in a numerical method proposed by the authors is introduced, and model validation against experimental data is discussed in detail. The validation works show that nonlinear vortex lattice method (NVLM) coupled with vortex particle method (VPM) can predict the unsteady aerodynamic forces and complex evolution of the rotor wake.Read more.
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