Inspired by Prandtl’s theory on aircraft wings with minimum induced drag, the authors introduced a double-bladed propeller, the Boxprop, intended for high-speed flight. The basic idea is to join the propeller blades pair-wise at the tip to improve aerodynamics and mechanical properties compared to the conventional propeller. The rather complex geometry of the double blades gives rise to new questions, particularly regarding the aerodynamics.
This paper presents a propeller wake energy analysis method which gives a better understanding of the potential performance benefits of the Boxprop and a means to improve its design.
CFD analysis of a five bladed Boxprop demonstrated its ability to generate typical levels of cruise thrust at a flight speed of Mach 0.75. The present work shows that the near tip velocity variations in the wake are weaker for this propeller than a conventional one, which is an indication that a counter rotating propeller designed with a Boxprop employed at the front may exhibit lower interaction noise.