Numerical Investigation of Configurations with Optimum Swirl Recovery for Propeller Propulsion Systems

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This paper addresses the design of swirl recovery vanes for propeller propulsion in tractor configuration at cruise conditions using numerical tools.Amultifidelity optimization framework is formulated for the design purpose, which exploits low-fidelity potential flow-based analysis results as input for high-fidelity Euler equation-based simulations. Furthermore, a model alignment procedure between low- and high-fidelity models is established based on a shapepreserving response prediction algorithm. Two cases of swirl recovery are examined. The first is the swirl recovery by the trailing wing, which leads to a reduction of the lift-induced drag. This is achieved by the optimization of the wing twist distribution. The second case is swirl recovery by a set of stationary vanes, which leads to production of additional thrust. In the latter case, four configurations are evaluated by locating the vanes at different azimuthal and axial positions relative to the wing. An optimum configuration is identified where the vanes are positioned on the blade-downgoing side downstream of the wing. For the configuration and conditions examined, the wing twist optimization reduces the induced drag by 3.9 counts (5.9% of wing-induced drag), whereas the optimized 4-bladed SRVs lead to an induced-drag reduction of 6.1 counts (9.2% of wing-induced drag).