Performance improvement of variable speed rotors by Gurney flaps

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Han, D.
Dong, C.
Barakos, G.N.
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Gurney flaps are used for improving the performance of variable speed rotors. An analytical model able to predict helicopter rotor power is first presented, and the flight data of the UH-60A helicopter is used for validation. The predictions of the rotor power are in good agreement with the flight test data, justifying the use of this tool in analyzing helicopter performance. A fixed Gurney flap can enhance the performance of variable speed rotors and expand the corresponding flight envelop, especially near stall and high speed flight. A retractable Gurney flap at 1/rev yields more power savings than a fixed Gurney flap or a retractable one with higher a harmonic prescribed motion. At a speed of 200km/h, the retractable Gurney flap at 1/rev can obtain 3.22% more power reduction at a rotor speed of 85% nominal rotor speed, and this value is 8.37% at a speed of 220km/h. The height corresponding to the minimum power increases slowly in low to medium speed flight, and increases dramatically in high speed flight. With increasing take-off weight (i.e. rotor thrust), the retractable Gurney flap at 1/rev can obtain more rotor power savings.