High Speed Wind Tunnel Tests of the PTA Aircraft 861744
Propfans, advanced highly-loaded propellers, are proposed to power transport aircraft that cruise at high subsonic speeds, giving significant fuel savings over the equivalent turbofan-powered aircraft. NASA is currently sponsoring the Propfan Test Assessment Program (PTA) to provide basic data on the structural integrity and acoustic performance of the propfan. The program involves installation design, wind-tunnel tests, and flight tests of the Hamilton Standard SR-7 propfan in a wing-mount tractor installation on the Gulfstream II aircraft. This paper reports on the high-speed wind-tunnel tests and presents the computational aerodynamic methods that were employed in the analyses, design, and evaluation of the configuration. In spite of the complexity of the configuration, these methods provide aerodynamic predictions which are in excellent agreement with wind-tunnel data.