Characterization of ducted contra-rotating propeller propulsions

Longfei Zhao, Sergey Shkarayev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper presents the experimental studies of the efficiency of open and ducted contra-rotating propeller systems operating in the low Reynolds number range. Eight off-the-shelf propellers were selected with a diameter in the range from 139 mm to 377 mm and seven ducts were built with the duct length of 0.28–0.53 the propeller diameter. Static and wind tunnel experiments were conducted. The maximum increase in the static thrust coefficient and power loading for the ducted contra-rotating propeller systems over the open systems was found to be 25% and 50%, respectively. This performance improvement for the medium size ducted systems is smaller than that observed in previous studies for ducts longer than the 0.8 propeller diameter but greater than for ducts shorter than the 0.15 propeller diameter. The thrust coefficient decreases with an advance ratio increase. The power loading of both open and ducted systems drops dramatically after reaching maxima.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Micro Air Vehicles
StatePublished - 2019


  • Thrust coefficient
  • ducted contra-rotating propeller
  • efficiency
  • power loading
  • wind tunnel test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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