Copyright © A. Filippone (1996-2005). All Rights Reserved.

Reference Desk
  • Rotor Aerodynamics

Rotor aerodynamics includes systems as diverse as propellers and turbomachinery, although the latter topics is usually left out of the list.


Many books of aerodynamics contain a chapter on propellers. The books reported below are among the best to study this topic in depth, without going to specialized papers, dealing with one or another aspect.

  1. Glauert H. Airplane Propellers, Vol. 4, Div. L in Aerodynamic Theory, edited by Durand W.F., Dover ed. 1943.
    Review: MUST HAVE. This is the basis of many later books (cited all over the places), invaluable for aerodynamic theory, with clear physical insight, concise and with appropriate mathematics. There is a definition of the propeller characteristics and the basic aerodynamic models. A good reading and the right place to start from.

  2. Andersen P, Breslin JP. Hydrodynamics of Ship Propellers, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995.
    Review: A well written book, with the fundamentals of incompressible flow (equations, linearized theories, thin wing sections, general wing theory). Specific problems of this class of rotary systems include cavitation (with a theory of intermittent cavitation) and propulsion efficiency, as depending on configuration.

Wind Turbines

Wind turbine technology is now mature, and further interesting development are expected in the future. The aerodynamic theory can be partially derived by Glauert, but many improvements have been formulated to deal with the peculiar aspects of these machines. As for the helicopter, wind turbine books usually contain chapters on related technological problems.

  1. Spera AD. (editor), Wind Turbine Technology, ASME Press, 1994.
    Review: the book is multi-disciplinary item with several aspects of wind energy systems. Among other things, there are chapters on aerodynamics and acoustics.

  2. Hansen MOL. Aerodynamics of Wind Turbines, James and James Science Publ. 2000 (ISBN 1-902916-06-9)
    Review: this is a book almost entirely devoted to aerodynamics and structural interaction, with detailed description of loads and moments. There are sections devoted to airfoil theory, rotational effects, dynamic stall, rotor optimization, and computational fluid dynamics.

Other Stuff

Other material somewhat related to rotary aerodynamics.

  1. Gostelow JP. Cascade Aerodynamics, Pergamon Press, 1984.
    Review: It is a fundamental book on cascades. The author discusses the basic equations, the important 2D models, incompressible and compressible flow characteristics, and special topics, such as cooling and tandem cascades. Good bibliography.

[Top of Page]

Copyright © A. Filippone (1996-2005). All Rights Reserved.