Aerodynamic Analysis of Conventional and Boundary Layer Ingesting Propellers
Journal article, 2023

The boundary layer ingestion (BLI) concept has emerged as a novel technology for reducing aircraft fuel consumption. Several studies designed BLI-fans for aircraft. BLI-propellers, although, have still received little attention, and the choice of open-rotors or ducted propellers is still an open question regarding the best performance. The blade design is also challenging because the BLI-propulsors ingest a nonuniform flow. These aspects emphasize further investigation of unducted and ducted BLI-propulsors and the use of optimization frameworks, coupled with computational fluid dynamics simulations, to design the propeller to adapt to the incoming flow. This paper uses a multi-objective NSGA-II optimization framework, coupled with three-dimensional RANS simulations and radial basis function (RBF) metamodeling, used for the design and optimization of three propeller configurations at cruise conditions: (a) conventional propeller operating in the freestream, (b) unducted BLI-propeller, and (c) ducted BLI-propeller, both ingesting the airframe boundary layer. The optimization results showed a significant increase in chord and a decrease in the blade angles in the BLI configurations, emphasizing that these geometric parameters optimization highly affects the BLI-blade design. The unducted BLI-propeller needs approximately 40% less shaft power than the conventional propeller to generate the same amount of propeller force. The ducted BLI-propeller needs even less power, 47%. The duct contributes to the tip vortex weakening, recovering the swirl, and turning into propeller force, as noticed from 80% of the blade span to the tip. However, the unducted and ducted BLI-configurations presented a higher backward force, 26% and 46%, respectively, compared to the conventional propeller, which can be detrimental and narrow the use of these configurations.

ducted BLI-propeller

boundary layer ingestion

airframe-propulsion system integration



Fabíola Paula Costa

Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA)

Jesuino Takachi Tomita

Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA)

Vinícius Tavares Silva

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Fluid Dynamics

Niklas Andersson

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Fluid Dynamics

Tomas Grönstedt

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Fluid Dynamics

Cleverson Bringhenti

Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA)

Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power

0742-4795 (ISSN) 1528-8919 (eISSN)

Vol. 145 1 011024

Subject Categories

Aerospace Engineering

Energy Engineering

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics



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