The Active Gurney Flap (AGF) is a small, flat tab cyclically deployed and retracted at lower surface of the rotor blade near its trailing edge. It is expected that the device may improve performance of modern helicopters. The main goal of presented investigations was to develop research methodology and next to use it in studies on phenomena occurring in the flow around helicopter-rotor blades equipped with AGF. Conducted CFD simulations aimed at validation of the developed methodology as well as at significant supplementing and extension of results of experimental research. Simplified sensitivity analysis has been conducted aiming at determination of geometric and motion-control parameters of the AGF, optimal from point of view of helicopter-performance improvement. Fully three-dimensional simulations of the rotor flight aimed at determination of flight conditions, in which the use of Active Gurney Flaps could significantly improve the rotorcraft performance.
The aim of this study was to investigate possibilities of improving performance characteristics of light gyroplane, as well to propose new or improved solutions enhancing performance of this type of rotorcraft. The study has been conducted based on computational methods of Computational Fluid Dynamics, Flight Dynamics, Computer Aided Design and Optimisation. Results of the research confirm that using advanced computational methods it is possible to improve significantly the performance characteristics of light gyroplane. It can be achieved both through optimisation of the main rotor design and flight control strategy. An unconventional approach to rotorcraft optimisation has been presented, distinguishing by the fact that the objective was calculated based on computer simulations of selected states of gyroplane flight. One of the optimised main rotors had already been examined during flight tests, which confirmed its good perfonnance-and-exploitation properties and its advantage over classic gyroplane rotors. Developed by the author the family of gyroplane airfoils is a valuable alternative to classic airfoils utilised so far. The same applies to the blades built based on those airfoils. In particular, it concerns the unconventional design of the rotor blade of span-variable: chord and relative thickness. The developed methodology of numerical optimisation of flight-control strategy during the jump takeoff of the gyroplane presents an original approach to those problems and may be valuable tool supporting gyroplane-pilot training.