TRUflow – Thrust Reverser Unit Flow Visualisation

In 2019, the Aircraft Research Association Ltd. (ARA) was pleased to be awarded leadership the 3-year Thrust Reverser Unit Flow visualisation (TRUflow) project as part of the European CleanSky2 programme. This project involves ARA working closely with partners Rolls-Royce, the University of Manchester and RUAG in Switzerland to explore the complex flow produced around thrust reverser units fitted to modern turbo-fan engines.

Mr Paul Hutchings, Chief Executive Officer stated “ARA is pleased to be leading this project with our partners. This new insight will influence future UHBR engine efficiencies that will lead to substantial reductions in fuel consumption and emissions with future large passenger aircraft”.

The objectives of the TRUflow project are:

  • Design and manufacture of a Thrust Reverser Unit (TRU) model powered by a hydraulic motor which can output 100kW and achieve 30,000rpm
  • Develop and test compact optical techniques
    • Internal PIV within the duct leading up to the blocker door and TRU cascades
    • Internal PSP measurements to analyse the pressure distributions within the duct
  • Measure and quantify the interference and interaction effects of the thrust reverser with the fan
  • Define a CFD meshing methodology for the stowed and deployed TRU
  • Develop novel CFD methods to allow modelling of a TRU as a surrogate model for fully resolved simulation

Static demonstration tests were performed at ARA in May 2021 with the wind tunnel tests performed in the RUAG tunnel in September 2021. These included oilflow visualisations, Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and internal pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) measurements.

For further information, refer to the TRUflow website ( or contact

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Aircraft Research Association Limited

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