Rensselaer Doctoral Student Richard Healy and Adviser Dr. Farhan Gandhi Win Best Paper at Vertical Flight Society’s Forum 78

Rensselaer Doctoral Student Richard Healy and Adviser Dr. Farhan Gandhi Win Best Paper at Vertical Flight Society’s Forum 78



By Katie Malatino

June 24, 2022

Rensselaer doctoral student Richard Healy and Dr. Farhan Gandhi, director of the Center for Mobility with Vertical Lift (MOVE), have won the overall Alfred Gessow best paper award as well as a best paper award from the aircraft design technical sessions at the Vertical Flight Society’s 78th Annual Forum & Technology Display.


The paper, Wing Lift Enhancement from Aft Rotor Induced Suction, explored the aerodynamic interactions of rotor-wing units in which lifting rotors are mounted below and behind a wing. The team simulated the performance of the rotor-wing units using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and then compared it to that of isolated rotors and wings. Their study found that the interactional aerodynamics associated with mounting a rotor below and behind a wing can improve performance over a range of wing angles and rotor loadings.


“The novel wing-lift augmentation presented in this work has the potential to greatly improve the aerodynamic efficiency of rotor-wing vehicles,” Healy said. “This technology is applicable to many electric air vehicle designs, and could provide enhanced performance that leads to improved payload capacity, endurance, or range."


Healy was also a 2020 Vertical Flight Foundation scholarship award winner.


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