A preliminary design tool for advanced propellers has been developed combining a fast vortex lattice aerodynamic analysis, a fast subsonic point source noise analysis, and an optimization scheme using a conjugate directions method. Twist, chord and sweep distributions are optimized to simultaneously improve both the aerodynamic performance and the noise observed at a fixed relative position.
The optimal noise/performance trade-offs for straight and advanced concept blades are presented. The techniques used include increasing the blade number, blade sweep, reducing the rotational speed, shifting the spanwise loading and diameter changes. Some methods yield improvement in both efficiency and noise.