Downwash Manipulation

Aerofex has developed technology to tame the downwash of VTOL aircraft. It is designed to expand the downdraft and eliminate the recirculating flow typical of open-rotor craft. The enabler is a ducted-fan ejector system.

The exposed blades of helicopters and multi-copters generate tip-vortices and swirl. As captured in the first two video sequences, conventional open-rotor craft create significant turbulence which leads to drift (clouds). The steady flow characteristics of the Aerofex technology are shown in the latter two sequences. The technology reduces vortices and expands the downwash to lessen its energy.

Why does this matter? For spraying crops or laying down fire-retardant the characteristics of the downwash are paramount. In manned applications, open-rotor downwash can create brownouts that risk injury to personnel and damage to the aircraft and structures.