STAR: Smart Active Twist Rotor

Smart rotor blades featuring flaps, trailing edge extensions, morphing tips, active twist, etc. are currently studied to provide better performance over conventional designs. In the UK, the trailing edge flap has been extensively studied as part of projects like REACT and RTVP of Leonardo Helicopters. In Europe, the Clean Sky 2 project also considered main rotor blades with flaps of the Gurney type. In the US, model scale rotors with several trailing edge flaps have also been studied aiming at noise and vibration reduction.

The STAR (Smart Twist Active Rotor) is an international effort looking at active twist blades. A conventional planform is used and fitted with appropriate actuators that can change the twist in a static way (hover) and dynamically (forward flight). Glasgow University is working with the STAR team to deliver high fidelity aeroelastic modelling of the envisaged blade.

At present the performance of the baseline design is evaluated using the HMB3 tool of Glasgow. Hover computations are first undertaken and comparisons of the predictions with STAR partners and estimates of the performance based on the earlier HART / HART II projects. An experimental rotor has been manufactured and will be tested in 2021 by a project partner to validate the numerical results.



This project at the University of Glasgow is funded by the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory [dstl].



George Barakos, Professor & Supervisor

Rinaldo Steininger, PhD Student