Improvement and Optimisation of Gyroplane Performance

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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.

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