Design of Rotary Wings with Passive Mitigation of Coherent Tip Vortex Roll-Up

Daniel Yu, Phillip Ansell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A rotor blade radial loading profile is presented that aims to passively mitigate the formation of coherent tip vortex structures in the near-field of the rotor wake. The method leverages principles of Helmholtz’s theorems, where the strength of the vortex wake is proportional to radial gradients in the blade loading distribution. By avoiding such radial gradients, the near-field roll-up of the wake vortex can be mitigated. A pair of two-bladed rotor designs configured with the same thrust coefficient was produced using a finite-vortex rotary lifting line framework coupled to a constrained power optimization problem. A baseline rotor was designed based on a power-optimized approach, and a wake-optimized rotor was designed based on a power-optimized approach with an additional blade-root bending moment constraint. Phase-averaged stereoscopic particle image velocimetry data were acquired for each rotor operating in hover. The wake-optimized rotor blade produced a wake characterized by conical vortex sheets of significantly lower peak vorticity than the compact, helical tip vortices produced by the baseline design. The wake-optimized design exhibited increased axial velocities near the root that caused radial distortions of the wake flow structures, which were also found to decay at a faster rate than that for the baseline design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-545
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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