Performance of Contra-Rotating Propellers for Stratospheric Airships

Tang, Zhihao;Liu, Peiqing;Sun, Jingwei;Chen, Yaxi;Guo, Hao;Li, Guangchao

  • Received : 2015.03.16
  • Accepted : 2015.12.16
  • Published : 2015.12.30


Small advance ratio and low Reynolds number of stratospheric propulsion system bring lots of challenges to the design of propellers. Contra-rotating propeller configuration is proposed to improve the propulsion efficiency. In this paper, the feasibility of contra-rotating propeller for stratospheric airship has been assessed and its performance has been investigated by wind tunnel tests. The experimental results indicate, at relatively low Reynolds number, although the advance ratio is fixed, the performance of propellers is different with variation of Reynolds number. Moreover, at the same Reynolds number, the efficiency of contra-rotating propeller achieved appears to be a few percent greater than that for a standard conventional propulsion system. It can be concluded that contra-rotating propellers would be an efficient means to improve the performance of stratospheric airship propulsion system.


contra-rotating propeller;stratospheric airship;low Reynolds number;small advance ratio


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Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China