Formation Flight of Independent Rotors

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationResearch


The presentation on a theoretical problem of close formation flight for multiple independent rotors. Through this analysis, an optimal configuration of an inverse-V, where the V points in the freestream direction, is proposed. This arrangement is the opposite of the well-known problem of flying wings that benefit from mutually induced upwash. As additional independent rotors are added, they lock into a leading position either on the left or right branch. The study presents solutions for four to ten independent rotors using a combined inflow theory aerodynamic model. The optimum solutions are found using a particle swarm optimization algorithm, which minimizes overall flight power as the objective parameter. The inverse-V formation results in a significant reduction in total power, with a 7% reduction for the case of four rotors and a 10% reduction as more rotors are added. This study sheds light on the optimal configuration for multiple independent rotors in close-formation flight and could lead to more efficient designs in the future.
Period21 May 202323 May 2023
Event titleVertical Lift Network
Event typeWorkshop
Conference number8
LocationPott Shrigley, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational