Wayfarer Aircraft and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University propose to gather full scale aerodynamic and acoustic flight test data of a novel type of distributed electric propulsion called the Integrated High Lift Propulsor (IHLP) by modifying an existing instrumented research aircraft. The IHLP substantially increases cruise efficiency and reduces the thrust and power required for lift augmentation via blowing. As a fundamental aerodynamic device, the IHLP is applicable to many aircraft types, sizes, and missions, including uncrewed and piloted Advanced Air Mobility, public safety, and military applications.
The overall program will characterize the aerodynamic and acoustic performance of the IHLP with variation of key parameters, clearing technical risk to enable incorporation on new or modified aircraft designs. The high-quality flight test data collected will also validate and improve design and analysis tools, including the ability to correctly capture design variations.
This Phase I proposal will leverage Embry-Riddle's extensive hybrid/electric flight research experience and capability, combined with Wayfarer's existing IHLP research to predict the propeller-wing interactions and overall vehicle performance, develop the flexible and rapidly reconfigurable research testbed design, and develop the flight test plan for acquisition of high-quality flight test data in Phase II. The modification of an existing research aircraft into a reconfigurable distributed electric propulsion testbed will enable a rapid and cost-effective STTR program gathering high quality data with broad industry relevance.
The proposed research supports the objectives of the NASA ARMD Strategic Implementation Plan for ultra efficient subsonic aircraft as well as safe, quiet and affordable Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) vehicles, advances technology to increase aircraft efficiency and reduce GHG (NASA Climate Action Plan Priority 5), and will supply research quality validation data for the Transformational Tools and Technologies Project (TTT).
NASA Technological Taxonomy TX15.1.1, TX15.1.4, TX15.1.5, TX15.1.6
The IHLP will increase cruise efficiency and reduce the thrust and power required for Distributed Electric Propulsion, resulting in higher performance, more efficient, and more economical aircraft in defense, public safety roles such as disaster response and air ambulance, and many civil markets including super STOL, thin-haul, regional mobility, and short haul cargo.