A two-part study was performed to design inlets for high-speed propfan installation. The first part was a parametric study to select promising inlet concepts. A wide range of inlet geometries was examined and evaluated - primarily on the basis of cruise thrust and fuel burn performance. Two inlet concepts were then chosen for more detailed design studies - one appropriate to offset engine/gearbox arrangements and the other to in-line arrangements.
In the second part of this study, inlet design points were chosen to optimize the net installed thrust, and detailed design of the two inlet configurations was performed. An analytical methodology was developed to account for propfan slipstream effects, transonic flow effects, and three-dimensional geometry effects. Using this methodology, low drag cowls were designed for the two inlets.