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Installed Propulsion Performance

Engine and aircraft manufacturers are constantly seeking to develop more efficient propulsion systems to reduce drag and noise. Whether these are turbofans, open rotors or propeller systems they will have significant effects on the airflow around the aircraft. The challenges facing engine and aircraft designers is to prevent these effects from disrupting the aerodynamic efficiency or stability and control of the aircraft whilst minimising drag and noise.

Jet Simulation

ARA has been a pioneer in jet propulsion testing since TPS units (turbine powered simulators driven by high pressure air) were first developed over 40 years ago. TPS units allow a high-fidelity simulation of inlet conditions and bypass flow through a jet engine model. Our one-stop service includes the design and manufacture of the engine models, calibration of the assembled TPS units in our Mach Simulation Tank and installed and isolated testing in the Transonic Wind Tunnel.

Through Flow Nacelles, Ducts and Blow Nacelles

Through flow nacelles and ducts are used to measure the effect due to the presence of nacelles and ducts without any jet effects and can be installed in both full-span and half-span models in the Transonic Wind Tunnel.

Blown nacelles are powered by a high pressure air supply and are used to measure jet effects.
ARA designs and manufactures single, double and triple bodied through flow nacelles, through flow ducts and blown nacelles followed by calibration in our Mach Simulation Tank.

Propeller Simulation

We have a world leading capability in propeller testing for half-span models built on decades of pioneering work into balance, hub and blade design as well as telemetry and data acquisition.
We offer both single propeller, twin propeller and contra-prop configurations. The propellers are powered by air motors driven by a high pressure air supply.

Our advanced health monitoring system for the air motors and propeller blades is very successful in detecting potential problems before they occur providing significant advances in reliability and productivity.

Our one-stop service includes the manufacture of the rotary balances followed by calibration in our Balance Calibration Laboratory as well as fine-tuning the balancing of propeller assemblies in our Propeller Test Cell.


Technical Information

Propeller Simulation

  • Capability to measure blade twist
  • Air motor operational range up to 13,000 rpm

Jet Simulation

  • TPS unit operational range from 40,000 to 70,000 rpm

Flow Investigation:

  • Use oilflow visualisation to investigate surface flow phenomena such as separation bubbles and trailing edge separations
  • Use high speed pressure transducers to measure unsteady pressures to investigate regions of separated flow
  • Use microphones installed on the fuselage to measure cabin noise

Data Acquisition:

  • Up to 220 channels measured at up to 10 data points per second
  • Measurement of up to 1000 steady-state pressures recorded at up to 10 data points per second
  • 1/rev data acquisition
  • Measurement of rotating pressures on propeller hubs and blades