2013 Volume 56 Issue 6 Pages 328-336
Ducted fans have higher thrust performance, higher propulsion efficiency and lower noise characteristics due to their duct system compared with commercial isolated propellers. The purpose of this study is to present design procedures in order to improve the aerodynamic performance of the ducted fan for the small VTOL UAV propulsion. In addition, the duct effect of ducted fans is analyzed to satisfy design requirements and improve performance. Aerodynamic design of the rotor and the stator blades of the ducted fan involves a series of steps: meanline analysis, through-flow analysis and aerodynamic analysis, based on consideration of the design requirements. The thrust performance of the ducted fan is somewhat higher compared with that of the rotor only, but wind tunnel test results of the ducted fan do not satisfy the design requirements. The thrust performance of the ducted fan is significantly different in the CFD results and wind tunnel results due to the inconsistency of the intake and the duct shape. Therefore, the thrust performance of the ducted fan would be somewhat improved by the optimization of the intake and the duct shape.