Within the internal project URBAN-Rescue, researchers from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) work on two scenarios of DLR’s Guiding Concept "Rescue Helicopter 2030" with defined requirement profiles, which include the fast rescue helicopter and a new rotorcraft as pure emergency doctor transporter.
For the fast rescue helicopter, advanced technologies are developed for typical helicopters. For the emergency doctor transporter, a completely new concept will be developed based on ideas currently proposed as air taxis for "Urban Air Mobility". In both scenarios, designs are developed using the tools currently available and those to be developed within the frame work of the project. Investigations on the interactional aerodynamics of the various components such as rotor/wings or multiple rotors mutual interference play an important role in order to evaluate objectives such as flight range extension, performance improvement, noise reduction but also the flyability, flight mechanics and efficiency of new designs. The aeroelasticity of modern rotor blade designs is essential for helicopters. In the case of the emergency doctor transporter, which may be a multicopter, the interaction of the rotors with the support structure and the cabin requires an interdisciplinary and crashworthy design.
Optimization of helicopter rotor blades and multicopter propellers in terms of noise and power is part of URBAN-Rescue, with modeling of tip vortex decay processes of both aircraft being of importance and subject of investigation. To achieve the goals, the existing numerical tools and experimental methods are applied, new ones developed and used within the project. Instrumented models will be built, used and measured, among others, in the low-speed wind tunnel Braunschweig (NWB). URBAN-Rescue aims at providing an experimental database for the validation of aeromechanical and aeroacoustic simulation methods for the fast rescue helicopter and the emergency doctor transporter by means of wind tunnel and laboratory measurements. The blade design for the fast rescue helicopter aims as the basis for a follow-up project that includes the manufacturing of a scaled model rotor and its measurement in the large low-speed wind tunnel of the DNW (LLF).
In URBAN-Rescue, the Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology develops advanced computational models for aerodynamic and aeroacoustic predictions of helicopters and air-taxis and carries out multidisciplinary rotor optimization. The scientists are setting-up wind tunnel experiments for aerodynamic and acoustic measurements of drone rotors and are developing simple noise source models for small rotors. In addition, they analyze the sound measurements obtained in the wind tunnel for the fast rescue helicopter.