The goal of the Contrails project is to help preserve and disseminate the technical record of 20th century aerospace research, highlighting in particular the research endeavors of the Illinois Tech community.

Investigation of Stored Energy Rotors for Recovery

Report Number: ASD-TDR-63-745
Author: Robinson, D. W., Jr.
Author: Goodale, B. A.
Author: Barzda, J. J.
Corporate Author: Kaman Aircraft Corporation
Corporate Report Number: R-467
Laboratory: Flight Dynamics Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1963-12
Pages: 261
Contract: AF 33(616)-7544
Project: 6065
Task: 606501
AD Number: AD0428998
Original AD Number: AD 428998

Analytical studies on the performance, stability, and control characteristics of rotary-wing decelerators in axial descent, controlled glide flight, and flared landings were performed to investigate the potential capabilities of stored energy rotor systems for the retardation and controlled recovery of payloads. Rotor parameters such as diameter, solidity, disc loading, mass, etc., were considered. Theoretical predictions are compared with experimental test results. Wind tunnel tests simulating typical re-entry trajectory altitude and dynamic conditions were performed on a rotary-wing decelerator system, similar in configuration and construction to the free-flight test rotor system, at speeds from Mach 0.5 to 3.0 to demonstrate feasibility of deploying and operating such systems at supersonic speeds in axial flow and to determine the rotor and governor characteristics for such an operation. Free-flight drop tests with remotely-controlled rotary wing test vehicles launched at subsonic speeds were performed to demonstrate the feasibility of controlled recovery, study stability and response to control, explore the performance potential, and determine problem areas requiring additional research or investigation. Potential applications for rotary-wing decelerator systems were studied. System characteristics are related to mission requirements. Conclusions formed on the basis of the analytical studies and experimental tests are presented and recommendations are made relative to additional research and applications.

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