Aeropropulsive coupling effects on a general-aviation aircraft with distributed electric propulsion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As distributed electric propulsion has continued to gain popularity as an enabling aircraft technology, further research is required to understand the complete implications of aeropropulsive coupling effects for distributed propulsion systems integrated into actual aircraft geometries. A set of low-speed wind-tunnel tests was performed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to characterize the aerodynamic performance of a semispan Cirrus SR22T wing-body model that was equipped with an array of four ducted fans integrated into the upper-surface, trailing edge of the wing. Aerodynamic performance and aeropropulsive coupling effects were investigated through six-component load-cell measurements of the forces and moments experienced by the model, supplemented by chordwise pressure distributions at four stations along the span of the wing. Additionally, a set of unsteady force and moment measurements were taken to investigate time constants associated with the response of aerodynamic forces and moments to step changes in fan speed. It was found that the fan tip-speed ratio dictates the aerodynamic performance of the model, with primary effects including an increased lifting force, yawing moment, rolling moment, and nose-down pitching moment as the tip-speed ratio increased. Additionally, the lift-curve slope changed with tipspeed ratio as a function of thrust setting in relation to thrust required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1363
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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