Russian TsAGI: Spinning the fuselage to save fuel

Russian aerodynamicists at the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) are studyingan unusual design concept that they say can cut fuel burn by as much as 10%. 

In an 8September press release, TsAGI shows a picture of the “fuselage in the form of a rotating body with a tail propeller” in the institute’s low-speed wind tunnel, where air speed, angle of attack and sideslip angles as well as engine power settings were varied for the work.
TsAGI spinning fuselage pusher.jpg
The shape of the body, when rotated, apparently causes an aerodynamic interaction with the pusher propeller that reduces the torque needed by the driveshaft to turn the propeller. 
TsAGI explains: “As a result of the tests, scientists have identifiedthe presence of positive aerodynamic interference, which manifests itselfas a drop in the required power of the shaft which drives the propeller to create thrust, compensating for the resistance of the rotating body, located in front of the propeller.” 
The net result? “Thanks to a reduction in the required propulsion capacity, fuel consumption the aircraft may be reduced by 8-10%,” says TsAGI.

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One Response to Russian TsAGI: Spinning the fuselage to save fuel

  1. Layman September 15, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    This could work in a civilian airliner.

    The drinks trolley will be pushed to the floor by the centrifugal force – so no problem there.

    Work will have to be done on the landings though as that could be a bit tricky.