Vahana Research: Tiltwing Multi-Rotor Aerodynamic Modeling

Over the course of this blog, we’ve published posts on everything from our approach to autonomy to the thought process that went into Vahana’s design. During this time, many of you have left questions and comments showcasing your own knowledge on each topic and we’ve been impressed by many of the points brought to the table in these discussion threads.

That’s why, this time, we’re sharing an in-depth academic paper from three of our top engineers Geoffrey Bower, Vahana’s chief engineer and Monica Syal and Giovanni Droandi both Vahana aerodynamics engineers. The paper discusses the aerodynamic modeling of Vahana.

Aerodynamic modeling of Vahana is a challenging problem because of the interactions between multiple fans and wings during transition. This paper serves as a deep dive into the medium-fidelity aerodynamic modeling tool used for solving the flow around Vahana in any arbitrary flight condition as well as the high-fidelity CFD solver used to cross-check on the trim solutions. We’ll also present a comparison of the loads and flow fields predicted by the medium-fidelity tool and the CFD solver.

Read the full paper here — we look forward to continued discussion!

- Zach Lovering