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Aerodynamic Analysis of the VTOL from Dufour Aerospace AG in the Wind Tunnel

During a two-week wind tunnel campaign in the GST wind tunnel in Immenstaad (Germany), researchers from the Centre for Aviation have aerodynamically analysed the VTOL from Dufour Aerospace AG. The successful measurement campaign makes an important contribution to the further development of the aircraft.

As part of a research project funded by Innosuisse, employees of the Centre for Aviation (ZAV) and the Institute of Product Development and Production Technologies (IPP) have designed, manufactured and tested a half-shell wind tunnel model of the VTOL from Dufour Aerospace AG in a wind tunnel.

With a wing half-span of 1.5 metres, the wind tunnel model has a scale of 1:2 and was largely manufactured in-house at the ZHAW. The wing can be continuously swivelled 90 degrees. The maximum speed of the two electrically operated variable pitch propellers is 6,000 rpm. The control surfaces on the wing are adjustable.

The forces and torques of the individual aircraft components (wing, fuselage, tail unit, propeller) were measured using five internal 6-component balances. Using the ProCap measuring system, the flow pattern on the tail unit could be visualised in detail. Various flight phases were analysed, from fast cruising flight to the transition phase to hovering flight.

The wind tunnel campaign was consistently successful and enabled a better understanding of the aerodynamics of the tiltwing concept. The measurement results and flow visualisations make an important contribution to the further development of the VTOL by Dufour Aerospace AG.

"As always, the collaboration with the ZHAW worked really well. The measurement campaign was a complete success and will help significantly in the further development of our aircraft. The results are extremely important for a deeper understanding of the flow conditions during different flight phases." Felix Rubin, Lead Engineer Flight Physics